Professor Dame Carol Black
Bdaily Business News

Sunderland company's health scheme backed by Government advisor

A scheme to improve workplace health at a EDF Energy Sunderland has been championed by a Government health advisor.

Professor Dame Carol Black, visited the site in Doxford Park Business park where several initiatives to promote healthy living have been established.

The energy company’s Sunderland customer services centre is working towards the gold NHS North East Better Health at Work Award for improving health and wellbeing after achieving silver earlier this year.

Dame Carol, expert advisor on work and health at the Department of Health, met with a team of staff at the centre who have volunteered to be ‘health advocates’.

Over the past two years the team has been responsible for implementing an engaging health and wellbeing programme for the office’s 1,800 members of staff.

Dame Carol said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting EDF Energy in Sunderland to see first-hand some of the fantastic work that is being done to create a people-focused, health conscious working environment.

“Employees at EDF Energy not only have access to health advice and support in their place of work they can also use the free onsite gym and can choose from a range of healthy menu options in the restaurant.

“It’s very exciting to see such commitment from an employer to improve the health and wellbeing of its staff. It is my hope that an increasing number of businesses will also invest in the health and wellbeing of their staff.”

During Dame Carol’s visit the health advocates hosted a drink awareness event with NHS specialists and representatives from Northumbria Police.

The week-long campaign educated staff within the centre on alcohol related issues and providing help, support and advice.

The Sunderland office is now leading the way and supporting the energy company’s customer service sites in the south to introduce similar health and wellbeing initiatives. The extension of the programme will benefit around 5000 further employees.

Tracey Forshaw, senior manager and better health ambassador, said: “We were delighted to welcome Dame Carol to our offices and to give her an insight into the efforts we make to help staff to lead a happy and balanced lifestyle.

“We understand the benefits of having a happy and healthy workforce, and our health and wellbeing initiatives are very much focussed on providing advice and guidance on a range of common issues.

“This year it is our intention to ensure that families, friends and local communities also benefit from our approach and the importance we place on improved health within the workplace.

“We’re also now being approached by other local companies that want us to mentor them to create a successful programme for their employees.”

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