Autism charity Daisy Chain signed up to the North East Better Health at Work Award scheme in 2017 and is delighted to have now achieved the Silver Level.

Staff completed surveys on what health issues mattered to them then the charity embarked on raising the health awareness of employees with a number of campaigns.

Stepping up to the next level after achieving the Bronze Award, the number of campaigns increased with sessions relating to healthy eating, physical activity, cancer awareness, mental health, musculoskeletal issues.

A Daisy Dieters group was set up as well as a walking group which undertook lunchtime brisk walks and an evening outing to climb Roseberry Topping. There was also a specialist oral health session with Queensway Dental Practice.

Garry Besford, Human Resources manager, said: “It is important to promote health and wellbeing at work. Staff health needs to be a priority in the workplace. We want to support staff and address the issues which matter to them which is why we are careful to ensure we consult with everyone to find out what they are interested in and what they want help with.

“We also find out how they would like to participate in Better Health at Work so no-one feels pressured and they can access support or advice in a way that is comfortable for each individual.

The North East Better Health at Work Award is a free scheme for all employers across the North East and Cumbria regardless of size and recognises the efforts of employers in addressing health issues within the workplace.

There are four levels to the award – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Continuing Excellence and every organisation or company that signs up is supported by a dedicated Workplace Health Improvement Specialist. The project is supported by all the region’s 12 Local Authorities, the NHS and Northern TUC and is endorsed by Public Health England. More than 400 regional employers are now participating in the scheme.

Garry added: “We are delighted to have achieved the Silver Award. It’s beneficial for individuals as well as employers as everyone gets increased access to health information. We are now moving on to plan for achieving the Gold Award.