A Trip to the Farm

Louise Mallas

Stress related sickness absence was a big issue for the YMCA in Cornwall. They decided to take action and prioritise the health and wellbeing of their employees by setting up a workplace health programme. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and they’ve achieved the Healthy Workplace Gold award for two years running.

Louise Mallas, who co-ordinated the programme, said

We have halved our overall absence figure

Louise Mallas
YMCA

“We have halved our overall absence figure  but not at the expense of 'presenteeism'. Most importantly, we now have no absence due to stress.”

Louise was keen to provide a variety of initiatives for employees to take advantage of. 

Louise’s top tips:

  • Hold a pedometer challenge
  • Set up regular running groups
  • Offer a scheme for staff to buy bicycles and equipment
  • Develop a flexible working policy.

Team building

As well as more conventional health and wellbeing initiatives, Louise also organised a very successful team building day which incorporated both physical activity and team building opportunities. 

We organised a team building day helping out at a local community farm

“We asked staff what they wanted from the programme. As a result of this consultation we organised a team building day helping out at a local community farm . The day involved digging, painting hen sheds, moving tyres, holding down ground sheets, building poly tunnels and much more. It was a lot of physical hard work which was loads of fun and great for team building.”

“There is now more cross team working as doing things out of work has helped build better relationships.”

The YMCA in Cornwall is an independent charity helping the communities, families and young people.

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