A North Eastern housing provider has achieved a Better Health at Work Gold Award following a sustained programme of campaigns aimed at supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of its colleagues.

Having been awarded the silver level award in 2022, Beyond Housing’s team of health advocates used feedback from the judging panel as inspiration for this year’s gold level submission.

The Better Health at Work Award encourages employers in the North East to put their colleagues’ health at the core of their values, and demonstrate how they are developing year-on-year.

There are five levels to the award – bronze, silver, gold, continuing excellence and maintaining excellence, with appropriate criteria at each stage to build into an award portfolio.

As part of the programme, the health advocates ran menopause workshops and mental health drop-in sessions, while also introducing wellness calls with a mental health first aider. The group held talks with external speakers about mental health and arranged sponsored sports events to raise money for Zoë’s Place, a baby hospice in Middlesbrough.

The Better Health at Work assessors agreed that the group submitted an excellent portfolio of evidence and assessment discussion. They stated that there were many examples of good practice that could be shared with other employers, especially with work promoting and supporting mental wellbeing and a commitment to engaging with employees who have found it difficult to participate in heath events due to the demands of their work role.

Rachel Docherty, HR partner and lead health advocate and mental health first aider at Beyond Housing, said: “We have a fantastic team of health advocates and mental health first aiders supporting our wellbeing plans each year, which we consult with our colleagues on. We are really proud to achieve the gold award and look forward to delivering even more health and wellbeing campaigns for our colleagues.

“It’s really rewarding to be involved in offering health and wellbeing activities and mental health support to our colleagues. The last few years have been challenging but being able to finally deliver face to face sessions and connect with colleagues has been fantastic.

“We hope Beyond Housing can progress to continuing excellence and eventually achieve ambassador status.”

Catherine Clennett, director of people at Beyond Housing, added: “The achievement of this award is testament to Beyond Housing’s commitment to our people and their wellbeing. It is a priority for us because it is simply the right thing to do; supporting our colleagues to be physically and mentally well is the first step to enabling them all to become the very best version of themselves they can be. At work, at home, and in the local community.”