Bicester companies helped to put staff wellbeing top of their New Year’s resolutions

Bicester businesses are being invited to take part in a pioneering new project, enabling them to provide better health and wellbeing support for their staff. ‘Thrive’ offers an easy to use framework, introducing small and medium sized businesses to the most up-to-date practices on workplace wellbeing, helping them to look after their employees’ mental and physical health.

Published: Tuesday, 3rd December 2019

The free programme has been developed by the West Midlands Combined Authority and adopted by Cherwell District Council. Bicester has been selected for the initial pilot in Cherwell, in line with its Healthy New Town status, with local businesses invited to book their place to incorporate the project into their plans for 2020.

Nicola Riley, Cherwell’s assistant director for wellbeing said: “Health and wellbeing is central to the success of any business, and yet it can often come at the bottom of a company’s list of priorities.

“Here in Oxfordshire, 11 per cent of adults have been diagnosed with depression and nationally mental health problems account for 15 million workdays lost each year. Supporting staff in their everyday wellbeing encourages a happy and engaged workforce, who are likely to be more productive and stay with a company for longer.”

Among the first cohort to sign up to the programme is print management company, Webmart, who currently employ 38 staff in Bicester. Helen Greener, Finance Manager at Webmart said: “The wellbeing of our staff is our number one priority, so when we heard about Thrive it was an easy decision to sign up.

“The programme is free, easy to adopt and offers excellent advice on how we can support the mental and physical health of our employees. It has been designed to put us in control, so we can implement it gradually without it taking up huge amounts of time.

“Once we have fully achieved the targets, we will even be presented with a wellbeing award, showing potential employees the importance we put on their welfare.”

Thrive is designed for companies with 10 or more staff and offers a variety of different levels to suit the individual needs of each business. The free programme assumes no prior understanding of workplace wellbeing techniques, taking participants on a step-by-step journey of best practice guidelines.

Nicola Riley continued: “There is a common misconception that offering good wellbeing policies at work are expensive and time consuming, when actually, the reverse is true. Thrive really is a win-win for both employers and employees and I encourage any businesses with 10 or more members of staff to get involved.”

For more information about the scheme, contact Jane.McDonald@Cherwell-DC.gov.uk