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East Anglia: Employers urged to sign up for Workplace Health & Wellbeing Support programme

PUBLISHED: 11:34 08 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:36 08 April 2014

Businesses from across East Anglia are being urged to sign up to a programme designed to support, and reward, efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.

The Workplace Health & Wellbeing Support programme, which goes live today and is to be delivered by Suffolk-based charity Healthy Ambitions, aims to help reduce the estimated 131 million working days lost every year in the UK as a result of ill health.

The initiative involves a comprehensive programme for businesses to follow, including an opportunity to to gain formal accreditation and the possibility of achieving recognition in the East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards, in which Health Ambitions is again supporting the Health and Wellbeing at Work category this year.

Designed with the help of leading health consultants and business owners, the plan covers a range of health and wellbeing matters in the workplace, including recruitment and retention, healthy eating, substance abuse, mental health and stress, and physical activity.

Anne Gartley, operations manager of Healthy Ambitions, said: “There is compelling evidence that if we can improve the health and wellbeing of the region’s workforce, we can make a long-term positive impact on their future physical and mental health.

“We hear time and again about the number of days lost to sickness, and about the stress that employees feel under, so this programme is about us looking at the reality of today’s working world and saying ‘what can we do to make things better?’.”

The programme will be delivered in conjunction with workplace health and wellbeing experts from HealthCV, who have substantial experience in working with employers who are seeking to develop this area of employee engagement.

Among the businesses already supporting the initiative is pet food and animal feed company H G Gladwell & Sons from Copdock, near Ipswich, which won the Health and Wellbeing at Work award at last year’s EADT Business Awards.

Managing director Simon Gladwell said: “We really prioritise health and wellbeing by not only providing occupational health but undertaking a range of initiatives including Fruity Fridays, hydration awareness and walking challenges organised by Healthy Ambitions. We also work closely with the University of Essex to investigate novel workplace interventions.”

He added: “Communication is highly important and we ensure that information about health and wellbeing and our policies is passed to all employees.”

The Workplace Health and Wellbeing initiative is open to businesses across Suffolk, Norfolk and north Essex. For further details, call Anne Gartley on 01473 786672 or visit http://healthyambitions.org.uk/ .

For details of the Health and Wellbeing at Work award and the full range of other categories in this year’s EADT Business Awards, visit www.eadtbusinessawards.co.uk .

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