PRIDE: Strong, no sugar – Ambi Swindells

PRIDE: Strong, no sugar – Ambi Swindells


Ambi Swindells is Head of Sports and Wellbeing at the Havas Lynx Group. As well as ensuring we’re fed and watered with cups of tea and biscuits, Ambi keeps us active by leading our run club, organising our yoga classes, walking adventures and football tournaments, and even encouraging us to take part in the Manchester 10k! In our latest blog, Ambi discusses what it means to her to be part of the Havas Lynx Group and why she loves working here.

When I started out, I was ‘the tea lady’. I had my trolley, and every day I’d go round the office making people a brew or a coffee. It might not sound the most glamourous, but it’s definitely worthwhile. Pretty quickly I realised that actually, for people to have five minutes away from their desk, to see a new face and have a little chat, well, it’s quite a good little refresh for people. I’m in quite a lucky position in that I talk to pretty much everyone in the building every day. So, you get a bit of a feel of what’s going on, and what people are in to.

I’m quite an active person, and a dead keen runner, so I’d always be chatting to people about that. I could tell there were a few other running keenos round the office, so I thought I’d start up a club. People loved it! And then, well, things kind of took off from there!

I started helping out with organising things like the football tournaments and the Manchester 10K – stuff that we already did, but that people had to try to organise around their full-time jobs. And then I started adding to this – a walking club, weekly yoga classes – and it became clear that actually there was quite a bit to do to make this sort of thing happen. So, the directors asked me if I’d like to be Head of Sports and Wellbeing. It was a bit of a shock, but a good one!

Now, we do all sorts: hiking trips to the Lake District, meditation, assault courses, the Beetham Tower Challenge. The social side of things is the main interest for a lot of people, I think. They really put in their all at work, so it’s great for them to have the chance to get out and have a laugh together, doing something active that doesn’t involve having a few too many beers (not that that isn’t fun!).

For me personally, it’s great to see someone who might be new to the company, or new to running, sign up for a 10K or something, get really stuck into it, and a few months later be stood there with a medal round their neck and a big grin on their face, having made some friends along the way.

I still do the trolley run of course, although it’s like a one-stop shop for afternoon pick-me-ups now; I’ve got everything from herbal teas to fresh fruit, to multi-vitamins and cod-liver oil!

I never imagined I’d end up working in the role I’m in now when I started, so I feel pretty lucky really. It means a lot to be given the opportunity to make this job my own, and also have the support to really shape it around the things I’m interested in.