Where in London do you live and/or work?
I live in Fulham, and I’ve worked in London for over 20 years.
What’s your earliest memory of London?
I went to the theatre when I was a young boy to see a show called Time in the West End. I was totally blown away by the sense of occasion, although I can’t really remember much about the musical.
What makes London special to you?
You can do anything in London. We are literally spoilt for choice.
How would you describe London in three words?
Vibrant, massive, British.
What’s your usual morning ritual?
I’m up at 6am and I now either run or cycle into work most days, although the winter is going to be a big test of my tenacity.
What do you do to keep a good work-life balance?
I don’t, and I need to do better.
What activities, habits or rituals have you found help you to maintain good mental health through challenging times?
Over the last 18 months I’ve really started to appreciate what eight hours of good quality sleep can do. I recommend reading Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep.
Are there any resources that you use, and would recommend, to help keep a positive state of mind?
I don’t use any apps or tools, but I’m very considered in the company I keep and the people that I work with. Being surrounded by positive influences makes a huge difference.
What do you like to do to relax?
I feel most relaxed when I’m somewhere with a view of the water, whether it be walking on the Thames footpath, or on holiday by the sea.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 6 months?
I really enjoyed The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I took a lot out of it as a parent and as a professional.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be kind, work hard and dream big.
What thought always puts you in a good mood?
Having something to look forward to, big or small, is really important.
Gareth Banner is the managing director of The Ned – a hotel, members’ club and collection of restaurants in the City of London from Soho House & Co – which is situated a stone’s throw from The Royal Exchange; thened.com
The Royal Exchange is partnering with Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest to encourage conversations about mental health, wellbeing and community spirit. For further information on Mind in the City, its support services – a range of innovative and collaborative services to support people’s mental and physical wellbeing, resilience and recovery – and how you can get involved with campaigning, fundraising or volunteering, please visit: mindchwf.org.uk
Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest is part of the national Mind network, which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing difficulties, visit mind.org.uk to access information about a broad range of topics and services, designed to help you overcome the challenges of this difficult time.