Mark Harper MP, the minister of state for disabled people, will address the annual conference of Swindon Mindful Employer Network at Nationwide House on November 6.

Mark was educated at Headlands School, in Swindon, and Swindon College before studying philosophy, politics and economics at Brasenose College, Oxford. He qualified as a chartered accountant with professional services network KPMG in 1995. Until 2002 he worked for Intel Corporation in a variety of fields, including finance, business operations and marketing.

Since it was formed in 2008, Swindon Mindful Employer Network has attracted top speakers and excellent attendance at its annual conferences.

With an increasing interest in mental health issues among employers, the local network has no problem in filling venues with a wide range of businesses from all sectors represented.

Among the other speakers booked to take part in November are Dr Sabir Giga, director of PhD programmes and a senior lecturer in organisational health and well-being at the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University. His presentation will explore ‘presenteeism’, the term given to employees who are suffering mental or physical illness but still working.

Chairman of the network Melanie Richens will host the conference and there will be a contribution from Mike Godfrey, who chairs both The Swindon Initiative and Swindon Employment and Skills Advisory Board.

Nationwide Building Society will provide the conference facilities and Baxter Storey is preparing lunch for delegates.

Julia Dunn, chief compliance officer of Nationwide Building Society, said: “We are keen supporters of Swindon Mindful Employer Network and look forward to hosting this interesting and popular event. Supporting the well-being of our people and removing the stigma of mental ill-health is important to us as a responsible employer.”

David Latham, who manages the network at Richmond Fellowship, said: “With the support from Nationwide Building Society and Baxter Storey this conference will be an extra special occasion for us. There is a lot of interest in mental health and well-being in the workplace and the network has been pivotal in providing an engaging forum for businesses to meet and discuss these important matters. Our thanks to Nationwide and Baxter Storey for their incredible generosity and example” The conference is free to Swindon area employers. Email smen@richmondfellowship.org.uk .