BareAll: A World of Wellness

At Peach HQ, wellness goes hand-in-hand with our mission to prove businesses can be a force for good. While doing good in the wider world we all need to ensure that we’re doing good and nurturing our own, so wellness features highly at Peach HQ with weekly yoga, a masseuse, pool table and the opportunity to cook for each other every Friday.

For our latest BareAll event we were joined by three inspirational speakers who gave an insight into how wellness has shaped their lives, businesses and perspective.


Neil Tomlinson, Aquapax

Neil Tomlinson kicked things off telling us about his passion and brand Aquapax – pure, fresh drinking water packaged in a wholly recyclable, safely reusable, sustainably produced, non-leaching paper-based carton. Right up our street!

Neil describes himself as an activist, campaigning from a young age to save the rainforest. He thought, like him, everyone knew that plastic was evil. Sadly not. Although this realisation proved the inspiration for Aquapax (Latin for ‘water of/at peace’.)

It was while working for South East Water when the first Asian tsunami hit that Neil ringfenced two of his engineers to go to Jakarta to sort and treat water. And the UK bottled water industry? Their solution was to send all of our almost at its use by date plastic water to a country with no recycling structure. Although at the top of the ladder – Neil realised perhaps this wasn’t the ladder he wanted to at the top of anymore.  

Migrating with Aquapax

Neil approached Aquapax with a genuine desire to do something different, feeling it was time to change the bottled water market – something Friends of the Earth describes as an ‘economic  phenomenon and an ecological catastrophe’. Ocean plastic pollution is out of control and we all know drastic action needs to be taken. Plastic waste was, and still is, an inconvenient truth, brushed under the carpet and Neil has battled against the cheapness of plastic which made for stiff competition. 

Neil likened founding Aquapax to a migration, knowing he would need to take people with him, something he so aptly portrays with migrating birds on his product’s packaging explaining: “Birds are never told when to migrate but once they start, they don’t go back [to staying in one spot again].” And his migrating analogy still rings very true with Neil’s first Aquapax customer continuing to place regular orders with him.

Giving back

It’s fair to say that Neil and Aquapax have been on something of a journey, battling health issues and a struggling economy. Throughout it all though Neil has remained focused on his desire to give something back. Each Aquapax carton pledges to donate 1% of the company’s turnover to environmental restoration which is achieved with the help of an ethical NGO (non-government organisation). The good guys always win our hearts!

Ending his talk with a number of pearls of wisdom, Neil suggests: 

  • Live your own reality
  • Stay with things
  • Back yourself.
  • Ask for help

And if you’re near a tap – drink tap water! It’s the only truly planet-friendly water. Amen to that!

Re-write your definition of success 

Think Publishing, Jackie Scully

Think Publishing Deputy Managing Director Jackie Scully’s challenged the BareAll audience to rethink our definition of success.

All passion, no purpose

With an exciting and varied career, Jackie admits that five years ago she was looking pretty successful – on paper. It wasn’t until a breast cancer diagnosis at just 32 that she realised her successful life was very much lacking in purpose. Jackie had been so busy rushing through the everyday, that she’d forgotten what it was really like to live.  

When asked by a nurse: “Jackie, what are you doing every day that you’d be proud to put on your gravestone?” she had no answer to give – time for a new definition of success. 

Making every day count

With a mortgage to pay, Jackie realised that purpose doesn’t necessarily pay the bills! Roll forward five years, and she is cancer free (yaaasss ) and still running the same £17m business but is definitely not the same person. Jackie now uses her professional skills to spread a little bit of kindness, a decision which has changed her life AND the life of those around her, with:

  • Talks in the workplace about breast health
  • Fundraising 
  • Writing and blogging
  • Meeting her local MP to push breast cancer higher up the agenda
  • Public speaking – largest crowd of which was 7000 people!

So, the big question is not how you get ahead. You need to ask yourself what you do at the weekends? How you spend your evenings? How you spend time with people that matter? Before being ill Jackie had never actually left Europe. Now she’s seen sunsets in some of the most amazing places in the world, reconnected with friends not seen for 14 years and even engineered herself onto Bake Off’s  ‘An Extra Slice’. She also has ambitious plans for 2019 with five massive challenges including a half ironman event!

A new definition of success

Success is… 

  • not so much WHAT you achieve in life, it’s WHY
  • embracing change
  • finding your edges, you’ll always remember your brave decisions
  • best shared with others. Strength comes from collaboration, not competition
  • choosing kindness
  • looking up. Turn your face to the sky!

Re-write your own version of success and choose to have the life in your days and not the days in your life! Jackie, coming from you, this is very much noted!

Where wellness meets nature 

VERVE Festival – Anna Hayward

Anna, creator of VERVE, a new wellness festival, took BareAll on a journey from cool Hackney to a thatched cottage in the middle of nowhere.

Following, what can only be described as a glittering career in the high-end global hotel market Anna and her non London-loving husband moved to Wiltshire. Bravely giving up her career, friends and the best in travel, culture and fine dining, they opted for a life in the countryside, enjoying the clean air, open spaces and being part of a community.

With no luxury hotels nearby, Anna set up her own consultancy working with a number of fairly local hotels and private members club. Although it’s all been great, Anna knew she also wanted to do something around health and wellness. She had the idea with a friend to do something completely different which encapsulated all the things they loved about life and from there the idea of a wellness festival was born. Now there’s only two months to go until it becomes a reality! Excited pants ON! 

What’s different about VERVE?

The stunning landscape! VERVE is all about how health and wellness is linked to nature. With one of the top wellness trends for 2019 prescribing nature, the cornerstone of VERVE is about being outside. All classes and workshops will be in the ancient woodland and the great outdoors with opportunity to enjoy the environment and, with no light pollution, some incredible stargazing too. Visitors to VERVE can also look forward to:

With festival waste hitting the headlines Anna was particularly pleased to share that VERVE will be a zero waste festival committed to ensuring no waste will go into land-fill – all being recycled, composted or sent to a waste-to-energy facility. This sounds more than peachy to us, Anna! We can’t wait!! Tickets available here

We hope these words of wellness have inspired you and if you’d like to either attend or speak at a BareAll event, do please get in touch.