From education to employment

College lead the way in promoting workforce wellbeing

A local further education college is leading the way in employee health and safety responsibilities with the launch of a Mind Yourself campaign – an initiative by South Eastern Regional College (SERC), in partnership with Health Matters to raise awareness and promote health and wellbeing in the workplace.

To demonstrate their commitment to looking after the emotional and physical wellbeing of all employees, SERC have signed up to the Health Matters Register of Intent to show their commitment to supporting staff.

SERC have also signed up to the mental health charter which demonstrates their commitment to helping employees get through difficulties at work caused by mental illness. To date eight mental health champions have been trained and appointed across all campuses and a webinar was launched to encourage staff to find out more and participate in the programme.

Nikki Sturgeon, lead health, safety and wellbeing coordinator at Health Matters said “Our partnership with SERC through our Health Matters at Work Initiative has enabled us to support SERC’s ongoing commitment to improve health, safety and wellbeing of employees within the workplace setting. We provided consultations, Health Champion training, resources and tools in working with SERC to develop and implement a sustainable workplace health and wellbeing initiative. Imperative initial steps involved engaging all staff through a health and wellbeing survey to enable all employees to shape the Mind Yourself initiative, making it meaningful and tailored to SERC employees.

“SERC are a leading example of a workplace that strives to continually improve by working collaboratively in support of healthy lifestyles and positive work environments. We hope to encourage and support many more local workplaces to follow in the footsteps of SERC and get involved with our free Health Matters at Work Initiative and take steps to a happier and healthier workplace.”

SERC Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Smyth said “Signing the Charter illustrates SERC’s commitment to improving the working lives of employees experiencing mental ill health. The initiative is a follow-up to last year’s health programme with various workshops set up to promote cancer awareness, mental health, healthy eating, smoking and physical activity. Staff also benefited from monthly newsletters promoting top tips and information on how to keep healthy and make healthier lifestyle choices. 

“We have numerous activities planned to engage staff and get people thinking and talking about their health and wellbeing,” continued Paul.

“We fully recognize that providing support and assistance to our employees to look after their health and well-being is crucial if SERC is to continue to provide a high standard of education. Implementing this initiative will be one of the most important elements to ensuring that staff continue to flourish and will offer great opportunities to get active, build resilience, chill out and meet new friends, so I’d encourage everyone to take part.”

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