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Gloucestershire Business News

Healthy workplaces celebrated

Companies which have focused on health and wellbeing in the workplaces were highlighted at the Healthy Workplaces Gloucestershire celebration last night (December 2).

Around 60 people attended the ceremony at The Growth Hub, based at the University of Gloucestershire's Oxstalls campus in Gloucester.

Siobhan Farmer, deputy director of public health for Gloucestershire who commissioned the awards, said: "It's important to remember that a good work environment equals good health. It's to everybody's benefit to ensure that our workplaces are healthy workplaces.

"As adults, we spend about a third of our lives in the workplace, so it's important they are places we feel comfortable. Emphasis should be on wellbeing, not just workplace health and safety as it used to be. Its about the culture and environment that we work in."

The Gloucestershire businesses and organisations which have earned the accreditation are:

  • Castleford House
  • Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Forwards Gloucestershire
  • Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • Gloucestershire County Council occupational health
  • Hope for Tomorrow
  • HR People Support
  • Invista
  • Journey
  • Publica
  • Stroud District Council
  • take five healthcare
  • UCAS
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • Stagecoach West

Victoria Lukins, project manager for the scheme, said: "Businesses here tonight have signed up to work with us and have been working through our accreditation to implement health and wellbeing measure in their workplace.

"They are implementing health and wellbeing measures to support their staff, keep them healthy, keep them happy, increase productivity and reduce sickness absence.

"We look at the workplace as a community where people are spending a lot of time. It's about raising awareness when people are struggling with their mental health, promoting healthy behaviours and physical activity."

Mary Hutton, accountable officer of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), talked about the importance of health and wellbeing within the CCG and how staff initiatives can really make a difference.

She said: "We know workplace wellbeing makes a difference - staff sickness is reduced and people are saying they know they have the right to make suggestions and their suggestions will be listened to.

"What we find is the more we talk about these things, the more people come forward and share what they're passionate about and that spreads the idea of workplace wellbeing. One of the staff came up with a running group and it's really grown - with 650 members now from organisations across the county. Some people are saying it's really been life changing for them."

"We all want to be employers of choice. In 2020, we were voted one of the best 10 CCGs to work in, so we're really pleased that staff recognised that they were being listened to."

Staff wellbeing within the CCG has had a wider impact on the community.

Mary continued: "Our vaccination programme has been the best in England. It shows how much work people are prepared to put in. Our pharmacists and GPs are working with the hospital trust.

"We can set up a clinic in two hours and volunteers will come forward."

Victoria Lukins concluded: "The workplace can sometimes be stressful, it can be draining and these organisations are working really hard to make sure that work-life balance is there."

Liggy Webb, consultant and author of a bitesize book series, appeared as a guest speaker with a fantastic speech about wellbeing, which we will feature on the B!G read this afternoon.

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