By Kate Harris, regional director, NABS

The past year has been a hugely challenging one for our industry. Individuals have faced – to use that word again – unprecedented difficulties both on a business and a personal level.

I don’t know about you, but I’m shattered. I’ve not been able to see my elderly mother properly for nearly a year now. I miss her terribly and I worry about her constantly. And that’s on top of the work challenges that we’re all facing – having to deal with working from home, needing to change tack on projects time and time again as the government guidance changes … No wonder so many of us are fatigued (to say the least).

It is brilliant, then, that our industry has NABS. NABS is the support organisation for everybody working in the advertising and media industry. We know that wellbeing is the centre of everything at work. Frankly, there can be no success in our industry without a solid foundation of wellbeing.

NABS provides a host of services, including a confidential advice line, one-to-one coaching, masterclasses (group coaching) and talks, all designed to boost people’s emotional health, confidence and resilience – and we have dedicated support for the regions. Our core services are free to the point of use because we’re a charity, entirely funded by donations.

NABS is in a unique position: At the forefront of wellbeing in our industry, we’re able to share insights into the issues affecting our people.  Last year, demand for our services rose by 20%, with financial and emotional worries dominating the reasons for people to get in touch with us. Demand for our grants service increased as people struggled to make ends meet in the face of mounting financial pressures.

Calls regarding redundancy were up by 300% in Q3 2020 alone. In the regions, demand for coaching increased by 10% as people sought help with issues from low mood and confidence to facing job loss. And our regular wellbeing polls revealed the widespread problem of anxiety and demotivation across our industry.

We’ve had our own struggles as an organisation. Due to the pandemic, we lost £1.1 million in income. Despite that, we managed to help every person who contacted us last year and we will do the same this year. But we need help to fulfil our mission. We’re now appealing to the industry to continue its generosity so that we can carry on helping people. If your organisation is able to come on board as a donor, we’d be so grateful for your support.

2021 looks to be another bumpy year, but we’ll be here for everybody in Manchester’s adland. If you or your teams need support with their emotional or financial wellbeing, please give us a call. Explore our site and take advantage of all of the wonderful free resources that we have to offer. And please, if you can, consider donating or becoming one or our partners.

To find out more, email me at or visit