Mailing staff on the road to a healthier future

Feb 22, 2016 | Business

A leading mailing house has held its first ever health roadshow for its workforce.

Metromail held the Health and Wellbeing Roadshow at its premises off Admirality Way, in Seaham, as part of the North East Better Health at Work Award.

A string of health-related companies packed into Metromail with representatives from each speaking to workers on a range of topics.

The companies who took part included Walk4Life, Bell Fundraising, Boots, health insurance companies BHSF and AXA, Nouveau Dance and Fitness, based in Peterlee, the National Trust, Total Recycling, NHS Bowel Cancer and NHS Stop Smoking, Slimming World, MIND, and St Benedicts palliative care charity.

Debbie Charlton, Metromail’s Performance Evaluation Manager who helped to organise the event, said: “Staff health and wellbeing is a big part of what we’re about here at Metromail because a healthy and happy workforce is a more productive and functioning workforce.

“We organised the event as part of the Better Health at Work Award, and it went down really well.

“We wanted our staff to take half-an-hour or an hour out of their working day at the roadshow to look at any health issues which may be a concern to them, and also to pck up tips on how they can be a healthier version of themselves.

“The event meant they also had to the chance to chat about things like insurance, which ordinarily they may not have the chance to do because as we all know life can be busy at times and fitting everything in is difficult.”

She added: “We had a great response from staff, with dozens of them taking the opportunity to have a look around and chat with the different representatives.”

Metromail, which works to deliver thousands of mail items each week using high-tech machinery, was previously recognised for its commitment to improving the health of its workers with a silver accolade in the North East Better Health At Work Awards – beating its ranking last year which saw them accredited with a bronze title.

The firm is hoping to achieve the coveted gold title this year.

The activities which has so far helped Metromail scoop silver include a weight-loss programme with a weigh-in each Friday, handing out free fruit on Mondays, and over 40 per cent of the workforce taking part in a cycle to work scheme. Mental health and suicide assistance courses were also undertaken by some members of staff, all of which helped MetroMail to scoop the award.

The award is part of a regional scheme which recognises employers that motivate workers in developing a culture of health and wellbeing, and is a partnership between the NHS and local businesses open to all organisations regardless of business size or sector.

There are four levels – bronze, silver, gold and ‘continuing excellence’, and is delivered by a range of local NHS Trusts, local authorities and other providers, who offer support to employers across the region.

Benefits of providing a healthy workplace include:

• Reduced absence due to ill health caused or made worse by work.

• Helping employees who have been ill to return to work.

• Improving work opportunities for people currently not in employment due to ill health or disability.

• Using the work environment to help people maintain or improve their health.