• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Banks Group Stays In Peak Condition With High Level ‘Better Health At Work’ Awards Success

Members of the Banks Group's Better Health At Work programme team (from  left) Joanne Bethell, Debbie McWilliam and Sarah CarrMembers of the Banks Group's Better Health At Work programme team (from left) Joanne Bethell, Debbie McWilliam and Sarah Carr

A North East employer’s long-term commitment to improving the health and well-being of its workforce has been recognised with the highest level of accreditation in a regional health initiative.

Property, energy and mining firm the Banks Group has been awarded the ‘Maintaining Excellence’ level in the Better Health At Work Awards, a partnership programme created by all 12 North East local authorities, the TUC and local NHS providers.

The programme aims to promote health and wellbeing in workplaces, and to recognise and celebrate the hard work and commitment of regional employers making the effort to improve the health of their workplaces and their employees.

The Banks Group is one of just a handful of regional employers to achieve the ‘Maintaining Excellence’ standard, which recognises firms that have been engaged with the Award for long enough to have achieved a pass at all levels via the completion of a criteria document, portfolio and full workplace assessment.

The family firm first became involved with the Award in 2012 as a way of promoting health and well-being among their workers, as well as to their families, fellow employers and the wider community.

It has built a team of eight health advocates based across the business who meet every month to look at the different areas of physical and mental health on which its campaigns and activities might focus, and who have received bespoke training to ensure they can share their knowledge effectively among their colleagues.

Six mental health first aiders also work across Banks’ different sites and are trained to spot any signs that individuals could benefit from some sort of assistance, while a library of information on dozens of health-related topics has made available for everyone to access.

The Better Health At Work Award requires participants to have at least a three-year health strategy and to run at least five workplace campaigns every year, with Banks choosing to run more than 20 events last year which covered topics including sleep hygiene, healthy eating and anxiety.

Outside speakers have also been invited into the business to discuss issues including financial well-being, cancer awareness and the menopause and andropause.

Joanne Bethell, who coordinates the Banks Group’s Better Health At Work programme alongside colleague Debbie McWilliam, says: “Taking part in this scheme makes sense from everyone’s point of view and it has helped to deliver a great deal of positive outcomes over the last 12 years.

“Our team gains greater awareness of health issues and practical help in improving their own and their families’ well-being, while the company gets improved employee morale and engagement through all the activities that are put on which hopefully result in a healthier workforce.

“We encourage everyone to take individual actions about the topics we cover, and to share the information we make available with their families and friends, so that it has the maximum possible positive impact across our community.

“The whole company has been really positive about this project ever since we first signed up to it, and we use the feedback we get from across the business to help develop a wide-ranging programme of campaigns and events that covers topics about which they want to find out more

“Reaching the Maintaining Excellence standard reflects the commitment that’s been put into bringing the Better Health At Work idea to life, from both an individual and a corporate point of view, and we’d very much encourage other regional firms to look at the benefits that being part of this project would deliver for them and their staff.”

David Martin, company secretary at the Banks Group, adds: “People are the greatest asset of any business and the key to its long-term success, so it’s only common sense for employers to take proactive steps to support them in every way possible.

“Our team’s health, safety and well-being, both physical and mental, is an integral part of everything we do across all our business areas, and it’s great to have the quality of the work done by Joanne, Debbie, all our health advocates and our CR team for so many years being recognised through this accreditation.”

The Better Health At Work Award has now been taken forward by the Northern TUC, with the support of and endorsement from Public Health England, and has so far seen more than 400 regional businesses taking part.

For further information, please visit www.betterhealthatworkaward.org.uk