Workplace Health team recognised in national Health and Wellbeing Awards
Cornwall’s Workplace Health programme has been recognised for its innovation, good practice and significant achievement by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).
It received their highest accolade – a three-year endorsement for demonstrating sustainable and consistent health improvement outcomes. Cornwall was one of 14 organisations who were presented with their certificate by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Vice President of RSPH at the national Health and Wellbeing Awards.
The Royal Society of Public Health is an independent, multi-disciplinary charity, dedicated to the promotion and protection of collective human health and wellbeing. The awards are designed to highlight at national level the projects and initiatives which are positively impacting people’s lives on a daily basis. They recognise achievement in the commissioning, development and implementation of health improvement and community wellbeing strategies and initiatives.
The Workplace Health programme works with businesses across Cornwall to support them in improving the health of their workforces. Almost 200 businesses are signed up to the programme (as of March 2014) and an estimated 40,000 employees benefit from the work being done in this area.
The awards ceremony was held on 28 October in London. Claire Shelley from GE Money in Truro joined Rachel Faulkner, Workplace Health Co-ordinator, and Matt Lenny, Head of Social Marketing for Public Health in Cornwall, to represent the Workplace Health team.
Councillor John Pollard, Leader of Cornwall Council, was delighted to hear about the award. He says: ‘The Healthy Workplace scheme is an asset to the businesses of Cornwall and it is good news that it has been recognised in this way. The work the team does, supporting companies to focus on the health and wellbeing of their employees, not only improves the health of those members of staff who take healthy options available to them, but also saves the companies themselves money. Staff absences are reduced, which result in efficiencies, reduced costs for agency staff, and improved staff motivation and morale.’
Businesses involved in the Workplace Health programme have introduced a variety of options to support their staff, ranging from stop smoking support, wellbeing assessments and NHS health checks, food box deliveries, and various workshops including mental health awareness, stress in the workplace, and lower back pain prevention. Also offers including reduced rate sport or gym membership, and signup for online healthy weight programmes.
Rachel Faulkner, the Workplace Health Co-ordinator, together with Rose Knuckey, Assistant Co-ordinator, offers support to businesses, and runs the Healthy Workplace awards, an accreditation scheme giving Bronze, Silver and Gold awards to companies which have reached certain standards in their provision for staff.
A further award, Mentor level, has been introduced in the last year, for companies which have been at Gold level for a year already, and are prepared to mentor other organisations coming up through the scheme. GE Money, YMCA Cornwall and BT Truro have been awarded Mentor level, and there are currently 18 Gold, four Silver and three Bronze award holders.
If you think your organisation or business could get involved with the Healthy Workplaces Scheme, then visit the website at www.behealthyatwork.org. You will find case studies of local businesses taking part in the programme, and examples of what you could do. There is a contact form on the website to find out more information or to sign up.
Statistics from the CIPD in 2011 show that sickness absence costs companies on average £673 annually per employee, and some companies in the scheme have reported savings of over £20,000 over a year, in agency staff costs. The next awards ceremony will be on Monday 9 February 2015. It is a great place to meet other companies already involved in the programme and share ideas. Any interested organisations are welcome to attend; more details will follow on the website.