Workplace Better Health Olympics raise over £2100 for charities in the region

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Workplace Better Health Olympics raise over £2100 for charities in the region

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As part of their involvement in the innovative north east-wide Better Health at Work Award, three of the region's workplaces; (BAE Systems Washington/Birtley the Identity and Passport Service in County Durham and HMRC Waterview Park in Washington) came together over the summer to organise a Better Health Olympic Games, which saw them raise more than £2100.00 for local charities Tiny Lives and Macmillan Cancer.

With the support and expertise of unionlearn's dedicated Health and Wellbeing Lead, Tom Ross, the PCS and GMB Union Learning Reps and Health Advocates at the three employers formed a working group to organise a range of sponsored challenges for members, colleagues and the community to participate in as part of their ongoing work to help improve health and wellbeing in their workplaces and beyond - whilst also raising money for good causes.

The 'Games' included an army assault course at Albemarle Barracks, a 5-a-side football tournament at Birtley Sports Complex and a 5km and 10km family walk around Herrington Country Park. Both charities assisted with the administration of the events as well as attending them to offer support and resources, including t-shirts and badges.

The culmination of the Workplace Olympics came this month with the presentation of a £1000.00+ cheque each to representatives of both Macmillan and Tiny Lives. The cheques were presented by Health Advocates, and lead organisers Trevor Best of BAE Systems, Tracy Maddison and Bev Gale of HMRC and Jeff McGough and John McGrory from IPS.

Northern TUC Regional Secretary Kevin Rowan said: 'Our region fares badly in most of the key health indicators but the TUC's health and wellbeing work and support of the Better Health at Work Award is making significant progress in making workers and workplaces healthier, happier, and more productive. Everyone involved in the Better Health Olympics should definitely get a gold medal!'

Trevor Best, GMB Union Learning Rep and Health Advocate at BAE Washington/Birtley said: 'Organising the Games as part of our collective Better Health at Work Award campaigns was great fun and an opportunity too good to miss to do some fundraising alongside it. This way the benefits of our better health work campaign is felt not just in our respective workplaces but on an even wider basis.'

Julie Gallagher, a Macmillan volunteer and recipient of the cheque said: 'It's absolutely amazing to receive such a generous cheque. Charities like ours depend on people and projects like this one to keep us going. Cancer affects 1 in 3 people so is likely to touch almost everyone in a personal capacity, whether it be friend, family or colleague. With extra funding like this, we can help more of those people.'

Martin Ward Platt, Consultant Paediatrician and Chair of the Tiny Lives committee said: 'Each year 700 premature or ill babies are born across the North East and North Cumbria requiring specialised and intensive care. Nursing and medical care on the ward demands particular skills and it's essential that staff keep up to date with the latest advances to facilitate this kind of need. It is via charitable events such as this that we are able to help fund the cost of care treatments for premature and ill newborn babies and the families in the Special Care Baby Unit. We are extremely grateful to everyone for their support.'

All 3 employers are now in receipt of the Gold level NHS Better Health At Work Award, a regional standard which recognises commitment to, and excellence in, workplace health for employees and beyond.

For more information on TinyLives visit: www.tinylives.org.uk

For more information on Macmillan visit: www.macmillan.org.uk

To see how employers/unions/workplaces can become involved in the North East Better health at Work Award contact Tom Ross on 0191 227 5555 or 07919174202 or email: tross@tuc.org.uk

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