International Day of Friendship is celebrated each year on 30 July and encourages everyone to choose respect, support and kindness for one another so that together we can build a better world where all are united for the greater good.

At Carnival UK we recognise the value of friendships and we pride ourselves on creating an environment where everyone can be the best version of themselves, where everyone supports one another, works Better Together and has the opportunity to create friendships for life.

This year, more than ever, it’s these friendships that have helped us to navigate change, new ways of working, and particularly, supported our seafarers whilst they’ve spent time away from family and friends back home.

We choose respect. We choose support. We choose kindness. 

The importance of friendship

One of the feelings millions of us around the world are feeling during this current COVID-19 pandemic is loneliness.

In our combined efforts to stay safe and well and due to restrictions in place to prevent further spread of the virus, our usual ways of doing things, interacting with one another and seeing family and friends have changed dramatically. But what is loneliness exactly and how can we all support one another better to avoid feelings of disconnect?

What is important to remember is loneliness is not social isolation, although there is correlation between the two.

True, sometimes loneliness can be caused by social isolation, and vice versa. However, there are many people with a low number of social contacts who rarely feel lonely, and those with a large number of social connections who always feel lonely.

Loneliness can strike any of us at any time, for a variety of reasons and it can impact how people feel at home and at work, as well as how they perform and interact with others. 

A few things we’re doing at Carnival UK to support you

Prioritising an Inclusive Culture
At Carnival UK we are passionate about our people’s happiness, we want people to feel that they are able to bring their whole selves to work; they belong, are listened to, feel valued and are treated with respect.
Social interaction beyond transactional work conversations
We’re passionate about everyone’s happiness and recognise that the relationships built at work and the sense of friendship and being part of a team contribute to how you feel. We encourage all managers to incorporate social activities as part of their team meetings. If on board, check out your onboard schedule for all the latest entertainment and social opportunities available to you.
Maximising digital tools to connect people
We’ve introduced Zoom as our official meeting and networking digital platform. Did you know that zoom also has a chat function so you can work collaboratively with your colleagues and arrange social activities too? Remember, you can also share what you’ve been up to via our Carnival UK Comms Instagram page, just tag us @CarnivalUKComms and we’ll credit you for any content we re-share.
Supporting your set up
We are all Heroes of Safe and Well, and that means looking after our health and minimising any risk of injury. We want all of our people to have the right home-working set up and support and we check in on our people to ensure have everything they need not only to work, but to connect with others too. We encourage all employees who are experiencing any physical discomfort to speak with their line manager – teams ashore should continue to visit our DSE Home working page on The Insider. If you ever experience any change to your mental health speak to your line manager, one of your mental health champions or any of our support providers such as our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
Providing line manager support
We value the role our line managers have in supporting all of our people, that’s why we provide our line managers with regular updates and support to ensure they are able to support you better, especially as we all navigate the new normal and change.
Mental Health Champions
We’ve been working hard to train as many of our people as possible to become mental health champions . Mental health champions are your colleagues who have been trained to be mental health aware; they are there for you to confidentially speak to as an alternative to Occupational Health, your line manager or any of our support providers such as EAP. You can find a list of all Mental Health Champions here.

A few things we can all do to brighten someone’s day

Reach out to colleagues
When was the last time you spoke to your colleagues? How were they doing? If you haven’t spoken for a while, why not reach out and check how they are? Remember – how people feel can change day to day; make sure you listen and don’t make assumptions.
Create social opportunities
As per UK government advice, social distancing remains in place but with a little innovation there are lots of ways to keep in touch with one another. Why not arrange an online activity everyone can take part in? Watch a film together, play a game or take part in a quiz. If you do come together in person, as many of our crew members will be able to do, make sure you are all able to safely comply with government advice including social distancing measures.
Make an effort to connect with friends and family
Connecting with family and friends is more important than ever. We encourage all of our people ship and shore to remain in regular contact with loved ones – for those on board we’ve introduced free WiFi to ensure you are able to do this easily.
Give the gift of giving
Sometimes helping others can give us a real sense of purpose. If ashore, look for safe volunteering opportunities in your area such as Furlonteer, giving blood or supporting your local community. If on board why not help a colleague who is having a tough time, sometimes it’s just a small act of kindness that can go the furthest to support those around you.

Congratulations to our competition winner!

Ahead of International Day of Friendship we asked you to nominate your colleagues who have made a difference to your overall experience with us.

Congratulations to our winners Eva Lee (Carnival House) who was nominated by Rebecca Morgan and Denis Coutinho (Arcadia) who was nominated by Madhuri Chahar. Both will receive a hamper of goodies.

Visit our Instagram page to see who our other nominees were.

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