Cornish Mutual achieves Gold in Healthy Workplace Awards

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Cornish Mutual has achieved Gold in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Healthy Workplace Awards. To secure the highest accolade in the awards the insurer had to demonstrate a range of steps it has taken to support the health and wellbeing of all its employees.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Healthy Workplace Award is a county standard of good practice and a quality mark of health and wellbeing in the workplace. Cornish Mutual, which has teams based across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, previously held a Silver award. To achieve Gold, the company had to evidence a range of initiatives across nine key areas including mental health, physical activity and healthier eating.

Cornish Mutual established a ‘Going for Gold’ team to develop activities to promote health and wellbeing across the company. With many people working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, this meant running most activities online, including coffee mornings to encourage teams based across the South West to socialise and support one another, and scavenger hunts as an enjoyable way to keep active. The team also provided a wealth of information on its intranet and used online platforms to share exercise ideas and achievements.

Cornish Mutual HR Leader, Katie Harland, said: “Cornish Mutual has always been ahead of the curve in supporting employees to focus on mental and physical health. From training our employees to be mental health first aiders to running health and wellbeing days, our priority is to provide a safe and happy workplace for everyone.

“While we were proud to hold the Silver Healthy Workplace award, we were determined to achieve Gold. Our success is the result of fantastic teamwork across the company.

“When we set ourselves the challenge of achieving Gold, we had no idea what was ahead of us. During the Covid-19 pandemic it has been more important than ever for our employees to be well cared for and supported. It has forced us to be creative and find new ways of supporting the physical and emotional wellbeing of everyone at Cornish Mutual through what has been a potentially stressful and difficult time.”

Abbie Drown, Member Services Advisor at Cornish Mutual, has taken part in a number of the activities. She said: “Despite the fact that we have been physically apart most of the time for the last few months, the events organised by the Going for Gold team have brought us together. For example, we had a scavenger hunt where we all had to find things in and around our own home towns, which was great fun as well as good exercise.

“I often use the exercise page on our intranet for ideas of ways to keep active at home and our virtual book club has also been a lovely way to connect with colleagues.

“I’ve made a number of changes, including drinking more water, making sure I protect my skin and I have also started sea swimming.”

Health Check Practitioner, Graham Hicks, was part of the team that assessed Cornish Mutual’s application. He said: “The Gold Award reflects the strong company-wide feeling at Cornish Mutual of being valued for the individual you are as well as being appreciated as an employee.

“Cornish Mutual is to be commended for its constant listening and support. Promotion of a healthy lifestyle runs through the heart of the message to staff and there is also a serious focus on health and safety.

“This year, with the added challenges of Covid-19 and lockdown, what has been achieved is amazing.

“The Cornish Mutual team are worthy Healthy Workplace Gold Award winners, with a workplace environment that is befitting of our highest health and wellbeing standards.”