[A]t a presentation today, Cumbria County Council was officially recognised for its commitment to workplace health and wellbeing and awarded the Silver Trades Union Congress Better Health at Work Award.
Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “This is a proud moment for Cumbria County Council and demonstrates our on-going commitment to our employees’ health and wellbeing.
“Evidence shows that workplace health programmes, like The Better Health at Work Award, can have a positive impact by motivating and helping to retain staff.
“With more Cumbria based employers getting on board it can only help us to improve the health of the Cumbrian working population, their families and communities.”
Susanne Nichol, Better Health at Work Award Programme Coordinator, said: “Cumbria County Council produced a sound Bronze submission, but have clearly found their feet at Silver and deserve credit and recognition for delivering one of the strongest Local Authority assessments the Lead Assessor has been part of.
“The organisation and clear direction of travel for the county council’s health and wellbeing activity from top-down and bottom-up is a strength that can only stand them in good stead for Gold.”
Katherine Fairclough, Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council, said: “We are delighted to receive the Silver Award. We began the award in April 2016 and as one of the biggest employers in the county and working with other local employers there’s potential to make a real difference to the health of working people in Cumbria.
“The health and wellbeing of our employees is a top priority for the council and the Better Health at Work Award supports ongoing engagement with staff and managers to raise awareness of this, praise has to go to our volunteer Health Advocates who are key to our success.”
In addition to achieving the award for itself as an employer, the county council has a role through its public health responsibilities to promote health and wellbeing with other employers in Cumbria. Today, a further 7 employers also received awards, including:
- Iggesund Paperboard – Bronze Award
- Sealy UK – Bronze Award
- Spirit Energy (formerly Centrica) – Silver Award
- Allerdale Borough Council – Bronze Award
- University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) – Silver Award
- North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) – Bronze Award
- TSP Engineering Longsteel – Bronze Award
The Better Health at Work Award recognises the efforts of employers in the North East and Cumbria in addressing health issues within the workplace. There are 4 levels to the award – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Continuing Excellence. Each level has varying criteria, but the focus throughout is identifying what health issues staff would like to focus on and then running subsequent health improvement campaigns to address the most requested.
Campaigns and activities are organised and run by employees who volunteer as Health Advocates, the county council currently has over 70 across the county. Health Advocates are people within the workplace who play a vital role in supporting fellow colleagues to make healthy choices and improve their health. They receive on-going training and promote positive health and wellbeing behaviours from health checks, eating well, quitting smoking, financial wellbeing, creating a positive work/life balance, being physically active, mental wellbeing and everything in-between.