This year (2019) the Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA) celebrates a fantastic ten years of making North East workplaces happier and healthier with its ‘Big 10’. Part of the celebrations include showcasing the progressive and innovative work being done by our local workplaces.
Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, visited local business, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Billingham.
Alex heard how, through their excellent BHAWA activity and long-term commitment to the health and wellbeing of their staff they attained Ambassador Status in 2015, the first year it was introduced.
Fujifilm began their workplace health journey by joining the Better Health at Work Award ten years ago when they signed up to the Bronze level. Since then, they have embraced every aspect of the programme, adapting policy, procedure and practice to make their workplace and workforce happier and healthier.
They are now award veterans and have achieved the Maintaining Excellence level, but still ensure they run creative and engaging campaigns for the workforce and beyond. They cover topics like Winter Health, including alcohol awareness and driving safety, and Healthy Hearts. They also run a very popular Fruity Friday, tied in to cancer awareness, which aims to get staff eating fruit and veg, trying ones they’ve never had before and incorporating them into their diets afterwards.
Mental health awareness is also a regular feature of their activity calendar, with stress awareness sessions being run throughout the year, as well as having trained Mental health First Aiders on site. They also spread the wellbeing message further afield into the local community with their substantial support for local charities and last year ran a productive drive for the Billingham Food Bank Appeal.
Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North said:
“It is vitally important that the mental and physical health of our workforce is properly cared for, and I am proud to represent a constituency with in which the wellbeing of its workers is treated with the seriousness it requires. Stockton Borough Council is already leading the way in improving the health and wellbeing of its staff, and it’s great to see companies like FUJIFILM embrace the principles of the Better Health at Work Awards too. I hope more businesses follow their lead.”
Beth Farhat, Northern TUC Regional Secretary said:
“A decade of creating good work and a healthier region is a real achievement and we should be extremely proud that the North East has led the way with a partnership approach and developed a real flagship programme to be proud of.
“Employers like Fujifilm really demonstrate the reciprocal benefits investing in and involving workers has on the workplace and workforce. Good work and quality jobs are the cornerstone of a healthy region and healthy economy.”
Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said:
“Our staff have provided direct support to a large number of organisations to help them achieve the Better Health at Work Award throughout the scheme’s ten-year existence.
“Fujifilm is one such business and it was very fitting that we visit them as they’ve been involved since the very start of the campaign. They were the first business in our Borough to gain ‘Ambassador’ status in 2015 which recognised their continued excellence and ongoing commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of their staff.
“I’m looking forward to the Better Health at Work Award going from strength to strength in the coming years and we’re happy to work with any organisations looking to get involved so we can continue to enable local people to be healthier in the workplace and beyond.”
Eleanor Clements, Head of Environmental, Health & Safety said:
“As BHAWA Ambassadors we are proud to have our business chosen to be the workplace visited in Stockton North and show case the fabulous work around workplace health. It’s been a pleasure to be on the BHAWA during the last 10 years and working with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the TUC, who have been incredibly supportive.
“The health and well-being of our employees is vitally important to us. Encouraging our workforce to lead healthier lifestyle has had huge benefits and over the years site engagement and support has grown. We continue to enjoy disseminating multi-faceted campaigns with something for everybody. We hold regular events which employees look forward to and we also introduce new topics on a regular basis.”
The BHAWA was created to take health and wellbeing into the workplace to help address some of the region's long-standing health issues and inequalities. It is supported by 11 local authorities in the region and coordinated by the Northern TUC, which encourages and rewards employers who are committed to the improving the health and wellbeing of their employees and creating healthy workplaces.
There are now over 400 organisations signed up, directly covering over 200,000 workers in the North East region alone with another 26 employers and 28,000 workers engaged across Cumbria, thus making it one of the biggest workplace health programmes in England. The BHAWA now delivers more than 1 million points of health and wellbeing contact annually.
The Award scheme is FREE, flexible and open to ALL employers in the North East, regardless of size, location and business type. Participants range from micro businesses with 5 employees to NHS Trusts with over 14,000 staff.
As part of the Big 10 celebrations a short video has been produced to showcase the benefits of the BHAWA for those involved, including testimonials from participants, which can be found at www.betterhealthatworkne.org along with additional information on the Award and a downloadable Employer Guide.
Keep an eye out on social media for all things #BHAWABIG10
Susanne Nichol (BHAWA Programme Coordinator)
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