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North East Chamber of Commerce lead by example as they sign up to regional Better Health at Work Award

Issue date

necc BHAWA signupToday,25th November, saw the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) reaffirm its position as an ambassador of all things good for business as they officially signed up to the North East Better Health at Work Award.

NECC Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham was joined by HR Manager Pam Robertson and Elaine Jackson, Health Improvement Specialist from County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust and Tom Ross, Better Health at Work Award Coordinator as he added his signature – and endorsement - to begin NECC’s journey on the Award.

The NE Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA) is a partnership between the 12 Local Authorities in the region, the Northern TUC and the NHS, developed to give recognition and endorsement to those organisations who are committed to developing a sustainable culture of health and wellbeing in the workplace.  This means offering encouragement, opportunity and practical support so staff have the chance to be fitter, healthier and safer. The Award is free, open to all organisations in the north east, regardless of size or sector and brings real benefits for employers, employees and the economy.

The Award has 4 levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Continuing Excellence. The Bronze Level lays a firm foundation to build a healthier workplace and is the starting point for all participants. So, amongst other things, this will see the NECC raising awareness of health in general, conducting a workforce health needs assessment and then running three workplace health campaigns/events based on this results, which could be anything from heart health and diabetes to smoking cessation and stress awareness.  Organisations have up to a year to complete each level before they are assessed and progress to the next one, with the ultimate aim of workplace health and wellbeing becoming as embedded as health and safety.

James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the NECC said, “We take the health and wellbeing of our workforce very seriously and try to encourage not only a healthy lifestyle, but a beneficial work-life balance.

“I am pleased to be able to add NECC’s name to this excellent initiative and would urge more firms and organisations to do likewise.”

Beth Farhat, Northern TUC Regional Secretary said: “There aren’t many organisations where the largest and most important resource isn’t staff.  So, it stands to reason that investing in their health and wellbeing makes sound business sense.  For employers it can – and does – lead to decreased absenteeism, increased productivity and improved performance.  For employees it can improve not only physical wellness but increase job satisfaction - which can also help to reduce staff turnover by between 10 and 25%.

“Having the NECC join the growing number of Award participants is a real boon and testament to the very real benefits that our workplace health programme delivers and we welcome them wholeheartedly.  I’m sure they’ll be both amazing participants and advocates.”

Notes to Editors:

  • NECC is the voice of North East businesses and the leading business membership organisation in the North East of England because it’s...
  1. The biggest – NECC represents around 4,000 member businesses, representing over a third of the region’s workforce.
  1. The choice of the large company – NECC has more member companies with 200 employees than any other business membership group in the region.
  1. The SME champion – NECC represents all businesses across all industries and sectors, from start-ups to established businesses, from sole traders to PLCs.
  1. Employers’ choice for apprenticeships – NECC is the largest independent training provider in the North East.
  1. On the side of engineers and manufacturers – NECC represents more engineering and manufacturing businesses than any other business membership group in the region.
  1. The only, truly regional business membership organisation – NECC is a North East business membership organisation. It is not the regional membership arm of a national group and as such has only the region’s best interests at heart.

Photograph Details:

  • High-resolution photographs available/attached.  Please use the contact details below if you are having trouble accessing.

Media Contacts:

For more information on the North East Better Health at Work Award in general contact Susanne Nichol on T: 0191 227 5553 or