Resilience Reimagined: How Aurora’s Tailored Program Transformed Wellbeing for Energus’ Nuclear Graduates During COVID-19

by | Oct 2, 2023

Energus is a unique conference and training venue situated on the edge of the Lake District. They offer an array of facilities and business support, providing programmes that are designed to enhance the skillsets of those who take them. One of their programmes is the Nuclear Graduates training scheme. This two-year development programme, which Energus manages on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), was founded to meet a growing need within the Nuclear Industry for skilled UK graduates. Graduates are usually placed with the likes of Rolls Royce, Sellafield, and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

The Brief:

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in early 2020, the Nuclear Gradates team was very aware that many of its members had recently transferred from busy university campuses to remote nuclear sites. Kathyrn Walker, Business Systems Lead at Energus, recognised that this sudden shift into isolation, when combined with the UK lockdown, posed a danger to the mental health, wellbeing, and productivity of its trainees and apprentices. Consequently, Energus was looking for a way to keep their graduates’ wellbeing and progress in a positive and resilient mindset in the midst of uncertainty and global workplace changes.

We all became mental health first aiders back in 2016, but until we had that session with Aurora, it wasn’t as evident to us what we should be looking for and how we could help the grads.” – Kath Walker, Business Systems Lead at Energus

Our Solution:

To alleviate the strains of the pandemic, Energus needed a way to support its graduates’ mental health, wellbeing, and productivity in a manner that could be tailored to the individual and yet delivered to a group. Kathyrn and the leadership team at Energus found their solution in the Aurora’s Productivity and Wellbeing Programme. We designed and delivered a bespoke Productivity and Wellbeing Programme specifically for Young Adults (aged 18-25) and rolled it out to three cohorts of Nuclear Graduates in 2020 and 2021.

  • This eight-week programme provided the Nuclear Graduates with means of improving their productivity and wellbeing whilst offering consistent, individual, and tailored support as and when the graduates required it.
  • The first half of the programme focused on maintaining a daily routine that considered personal and innate preferences towards particular times of day or working habits. These considerations allowed the graduates to plan clearly, and then efficiently perform their tasks.
  • The second half of the programme provided the cohort with the parameters by which they could measure and monitor their mental wellbeing, whilst providing various ways to maintain and improve any areas of their health they found to be low.

The Results:

  • Aurora’s work within the course’s eight weeks had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the Nuclear Graduates with the Grads showing a 50% improvement productivity scores at the end of the programme. They also rated the programme as 83.3% ‘Very good’ and 16.7% ‘Excellent’.
  • Exit interviews with various cohort members revealed that the techniques taught within the Productivity and Wellbeing Programme had a significant impact on their personal productivity, especially within the context of remote working.


  • Session two in particular, which outlined energy management, and provided personalised energy mapping for optimised output, was frequently cited as making a real difference to the personal productivity of the cohort.
  • The latter sessions, which focused on caring for personal wellbeing, also significantly impacted the graduates. Aurora’s A.N.G.E.L. of Wellbeing® allowed many cohort members to monitor their mental wellbeing in a way they hadn’t been able to before, and therefore notice when both themselves and others were struggling.

“The sessions with Aurora definitely improved my wellbeing. Working from home became quite an isolating experience. Even when you do talk to everyone every day, it’s always about work, but here I got to meet new people and learn more about everyone else. “

  • These positive results were also observed on a wider level by the managers and people leaders at Energus. Kathyrn Walker reported that there was a visible difference in the graduates following the Productivity and Wellbeing Programme. They were communicating their needs more clearly and valuing their wellbeing to a greater extent.
  • Ultimately, the Productivity and Wellbeing Programme successfully achieved its goal of managing young people in a dynamic environment, and equipping them with essential life skills designed to support their productivity and wellbeing. It also produced the additional benefit of helping support the wellbeing of the Energus managers, ensuring that the network intended to underpin the Nuclear Graduates programme was operating at an optimal level of health and productivity.

“After working with Aurora, it’s all been really good. I’ve seen a definite spring in people’s step.” – Shaun Stranger, General Manager, Energus

Below are some excerpts of Kathyrn Walker, Business Systems Lead at Energus interview about her experience and the success of the Aurora Productivity & Wellbeing Programme.

Q. Why Aurora?

“At the end of the day, it worked because Aurora made the effort to get us. They understood who we are and why we work. We’re quite a different type of organisation, our structure is set up quite differently, but they made that work. They tailored it for us.”

Q. What Changed for the Nuclear Graduates?

The learning and experience that the course added to the graduates, it was amazing. The course was 100% value for money. It’s kept their motivation up.

The feedback that we get from the grads is overwhelmingly positive.

‘It’s when are we going to work with Aurora again?’ Ngozi and Obehi’s enthusiasm is infectious! However, the graduates also make serious comments about how the sessions have really led them to sit up and reflect, to take time for themselves.

Read full case study here: Energus PDF

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