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07 February 2017

Better health at work for employees in Cumbria

On Friday 10 February members of the media are invited to a short awards ceremony where Cumbria County Council will be officially recognised for its commitment to workplace health and wellbeing. The county council will receive recognition of its success in achieving the TUC Better Health at Work Award at a ceremony taking place at Cumbria House, Carlisle from 1pm.

In addition to achieving the award for itself as an employer, the county council has a role through its public health responsibilities to promote this approach with other employers in Cumbria. In parallel to the council's success, Centrica in Barrow has also achieved the award with many other local employers in the process. On Friday, Centrica will also be recognised for its efforts and will be presented with the Better Health at Work Award by Council Leader Councillor Stewart Young and Chief Executive Diane Wood.

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, like Centrica, getting on board it can only help us to improve the health of the Cumbrian working population, their families and communities."

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. All employers, regardless of their history of good practice in this area, must enter the scheme attempting to attain Bronze level first.

Campaigns and activities are organised and run by employee Health Advocates, the county council currently has over 40 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 eating well, keeping hydrated, creating a positive work/life balance, being physically active, mental wellbeing and everything in-between.

Councillor Ian Stewart, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said:

"We are delighted to receive the Bronze 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.

"This is the first step on a ladder towards Continuing Excellence, and that is our ambition."

Kenneth Gyles, TUC Health and Wellbeing Support Officer, said:

"It is fantastic to see The Better Health at Work Award already making a difference to Cumbrian workers and workplaces. 

"Cumbria County Council and Centrica have really grasped the ethos of the award and the importance of taking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, making both strategic and operational changes to ensure it is embedded throughout their organisation - with great success. 

"I’m sure they will continue their award journey with the same commitment and enthusiasm and are hopefully the first of many.”

  

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Cumbria County Council will be officially recognised for its commitment to workplace health and wellbeing on 10 February.