Employee Stories

As part of Mental Health Week, we’re sharing stories on some of our colleagues and what they are doing to help them get through lockdown life.

Living through lockdown with Kirsty

ANGUSalive Chief Executive, Kirsty Hunter, is a big fan of indoor cycling and following lockdown she now has a spin bike at home. She’s also been going for walks, reading books, catching up with family and friends online as well as enjoying spending more time in the kitchen testing out new dinner recipes and rediscovering a love of baking.

“I try to complete a spin session 3 -5 times a week which has been great as it provides me with a bit of a routine, an excuse to stop working and completely focus on something I love to do to stay healthy. I’m a keen hill walker so although I can’t yet get out to walk up a Munro, indoor cycling is a great cross training exercise and gets the heart pumping. It’s also amazing what a bit of exercise does to lift your mood. One Saturday I woke up and it was grey outside which matched how I felt so I decided to do a spin session and felt really motivated afterwards and ready for the day ahead. When the sun came out that afternoon, relaxing on the balcony with my current library book and some favourite tunes on really recharged the batteries.

I’ve also been keeping busy by taking daily walks in green space near my home. I’m enjoying finding new urban trails and recently spotted my first red squirrel locally which was my nature highlight of the day. I started doing a shop every Thursday for myself, my parents and a family friend who is shielding, always making sure I’m back home to Clap for our Carers with my neighbours as there is a real sense of community from showing our appreciation together. I get a lot personally from providing this support to loved ones as I know the difference it makes to them right now to see a friendly face delivering their messages every week along with some homemade tasty treats I’ve been baking!"

Kirsty is keeping a jar of ideas she is looking forward to doing after the lockdown. “I’ve added quite a few things already but one I’m really excited to be able to do again is to head out exploring the coastline on a sea kayak with my friend Megan so fingers crossed this lovely weather we’ve been enjoying continues. I hope that it won’t be too far away and gives me something fun to think about planning for the future.”

Life in lockdown with Grant 



Grant Donaldson, our Sports Centre Operations Lead, tells us how he is coping with the lockdown and what he is doing to stay active and creative whilst at home.

“To keep fit and stay active I have signed up to Future Fit which is a great platform to sign up to as it covers training and exercise, nutrition and health and well-being.

My wife and I have also created our own fitness timetable which includes doing the Couch to 5K run. This involves running on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I cycle 15 miles, just to keep the blood pumping and lungs working.

We also enjoy getting involved in Jay's Virtual Pub Quiz on a Thursday and Saturday evening.

I do enjoy venturing into the kitchen to explore my creative side. So far I have made my first shepherd’s pie and a delicious steak pie, but back in April I made a wonderful Easter cake and more recently I made my very own shortcrust pastry for a scrumptious quiche.

I’ve also got round to painting and decorating my son's old bedroom, power washing the garden walls and driveway, and painting the garden fences, to name a few.

We’re keeping positive throughout and doing our best to stay healthy, active and creative.”

Colin's coping mechanisms



Colin Knight, our Sports and Leisure Senior Manager, tells us how he and his family are coping during the lockdown. Watch his lockdown video and have a read of what he told us:

"Along with home schooling, keeping the kids (and ourselves) active has been our main aim during this challenging time. The kids are up each morning with Joe Wicks at 9.00am and we have set ourselves a target of doing 10,000 steps per day…we have achieved this everyday by walking and running. We have also set sporting challenges in the garden to keep us focused on our favourite sports and activities which we are all missing!! I’ve also learnt to cartwheel but nobody needs to see that video clip!!

To keep our minds active we have enjoyed family games nights and taking part in online quizzes with local sports clubs, the Scottish FA and our friends. Thomas and Sophie have been writing quiz questions and video calling their grandparents every day to test their knowledge on lots of topics including dogs, Disney films, cricket, golf and much more!!

Most of all I really need to get back to Tannadice and back on the golf course in Monifieth!!"

Kickstart the day with Kirsty



Kirsty Irons, our Marketing and Communications Lead, lives with her husband Steven and 4 year-old son Robbie. She said: “During lockdown, I’ve found it really hard to separate my work life from my home life- simply because my kitchen table has become my desk. I find it hard to get out of the ‘work zone’ and back to normal life at times. However playing footie in the garden with Robbie during lunch break helps me clear my head. I also try to take a walk down the beach when I can. Robbie recently learned to pedal his bike which was a lovely pick-me-up moment when I was feeling low. I’m also trying to eat a bit healthier but it’s hard when I bake cakes and enjoy a glass of wine!”

Keeping up with Kathleen



Kathleen Hutchison, Health & Wellbeing Lead for ANGUSalive said,

"Keeping active during the current crisis is very important to me, not only physically but mentally too. Exercising releases endorphins which are powerful chemicals in your brain that energise your spirits and make you feel good.

I have been a Les Mills RPM instructor for many years now and it is one of my favourite ways of keeping fit and mentally healthy. The brilliant choreography takes you through fast flats, interval peaks and hill and mountain climbs with great music to motivate and drive you to the finish!"

Nature rides with Nicola



Nicola Barbour, our Outdoor Physical Activities Lead shares her thoughts during Mental Health Awareness Week. Here's what she had to say,

"During lockdown, I love to get out on my mountain bike for exercise as it improves my physical and mental well-being, encourages positivity and focus, and enables me to connect with nature during the ‘awakening of the natural environment’ spring season."