We are pleased to recognise below the workplaces that have achieved a Bronze Award accreditation on the Wellbeing at Work Programme. Each organisation has a brief summary, sharing their experience of the programme and how they’ve approached wellbeing in the workplace.
Below are the large organisations (50+ employees) that have achieved a Bronze award
Wealden District Council
The council is the first employer in East Sussex to be accredited with a Wellbeing at Work award, achieving Bronze award status for workplaces with 50+ employees.
As part of their award application, Wealden has implemented a range of initiatives and programmes that support staff wellbeing. These included Coffee Roulette – a virtual coffee meet randomly pairing two staff members from across the company, cycle to work scheme, flexible working and the introduction of mental health first aiders.
Wealden District Council’s portfolio holder for Human Resources Councillor Roy Galley said, “Wealden council has a reputation as a good place to work and we take great care in looking after and valuing our staff. This award is a testament to the work those within the council have done over a long period of time.
“I would like to thank the officers who helped us achieve this award and we are very proud to be the first council in East Sussex to gain this accreditation.”
Servomex is the first private sector employer in East Sussex to be accredited with a Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award status for workplaces with 50+ employees.
Some of the successful interventions evidenced as part of their award application were the provision of mental health awareness training to all 75 managers as part of their management development programme, and having mental health first aiders who work closely with managers to support staff. Both have contributed to creating an organisational culture that supports staff wellbeing and open conversations about mental health issues. An employee stated: ‘I am proud of the way Servomex treats its employees, which distinguishes us from other workplaces in the area’.
The key for Servomex’ success, according to their wellbeing lead Julie Burridge, is the ongoing promotion of mental health first aiders, and to have the buy-in from the senior leaders. To Julie, taking part in the programme and pulling all of the evidence together helped realise how much the organisation had achieved in terms of wellbeing. “It was great to reflect on what we have accomplished”.
Sylvania Lighting has reached Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award for workplaces with 50+ employees with innovative interventions, including an active travel map produced in partnership with Living Streets and regular self-led walks around the industrial estate in Newhaven, where they are based. The weekly and monthly walks have been beneficial not only for wellbeing and team building, but also helped staff explore and understand the potential of their local area, historically seen as just a drive past.
Undertaking the accreditation has provided them the structure they needed for their wellbeing initiatives, and helped them bring their workforce together through training, wellbeing events and walks in the local area. All initiatives have received good feedback from employees, especially the training offer, with some members of staff applying their new skills in their roles and seeing good results. The accreditation enabled them to offer Mental Health Awareness training to all managers, which led them to engage staff members who hadn’t been engaged previously and to show the company’s commitment to wellbeing in a post-Covid environment, where staff morale was low. The HR team’s hard work has paid off. Staff feels there has been a huge cultural change in the organisation over the past year.
To Wellbeing Lead Adam Woolcock, “from a company and personal point of view, I would promote the scheme to any organisation that wants to develop employee wellbeing. Looking forward to building on this in the future“.
St. Wilfrid’s Hospice
St Wilfrid’s Hospice was awarded with the Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award in January 2023.
As part of their award, St Wilfrid’s convened a Mental Health First Aider working group in the organisation, to bring together the 10% of the workforce which are trained in MHFA to help shape the organisation’s wellbeing initiatives and deliver its mental health action plan. One of the benefits of this approach has been to allow staff to be involved in the decision-making and give them the ownership of the process, instead of wellbeing improvements being solely ‘top down’. They have also utilised internal skills to enhance their wellbeing offer, e.g. yoga and holistic therapy sessions led by staff members, team leaders sharing their own lived experience of mental health and their top tips on wellbeing. HR Operations Lead and Wellbeing Lead Stephanie Green said ‘’we are proud that staff are leading the way on our wellbeing initiatives’’.
When asked about wellbeing at St Wilfrid’s, a member of staff stated ‘’the communication and support in place for staff is the best of any organisation I have worked in… It is a wonderful place to work for my own wellbeing’’.
FSN Charity has reached Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award in January 2023.
One of the best achievements FSN highlighted from their wellbeing journey was undertaking a formal staff wellbeing survey. This survey allowed them to have a good insight into staff health as well as providing staff with an opportunity to feedback anonymously what support would be helpful for them. FSN has sought a supportive environment in their organisation by encouraging an open-door policy, so that staff feel able to discuss any concerns with management as well as being signposted to support services where necessary. As a result, to their staff ‘the organisation couldn’t do more to show they care about people’.
Jackie Earl, HR Manager and Wellbeing Lead, found that the training provided by the programme has been very helpful. Training key members of staff in MHFA has helped to boost their confidence in talking to team members about mental health when issues arose. The award criteria felt daunting at first, but the support received from the Wellbeing at Work team and the regular check-ins have been useful and a great motivator. Overall, she feels that the process has been brilliant, and particularly likes the networking sessions as it gives the opportunity to learn from other employers.
Sussex Housing & Care
Sussex Housing & Care was awarded with the Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award in January 2023.
As part of their award, Sussex Housing has committed to promoting one wellbeing topic each month, building upon their very well received wellbeing workshops launched during the pandemic. Their intranet brings user-friendly topic-based sections with guidance and signposting information. The company also offers further information and support in different formats to suit people in different roles and locations, considering their very diverse workforce.
According to their wellbeing leads, undertaking the award has helped them understand the bigger picture in terms of workplace health and join all of their wellbeing initiatives under one umbrella. The support and feedback received from the Wellbeing at Work team was great, and the champion training done through the programme boosted their confidence to keep up with their work. As a result, employees perceive the organisation as being ‘’very supportive and a friendly working environment. It’s a very good company culture’’. Staff feel reassured that there is a lot of support available, and they feel confident to discuss mental health and help a colleague if needed.
Knill James LLP
Knill James LLP, a firm of chartered accountants based in Lewes with a team of just over 60 people, achieved the Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award in February 2023. This follows on from their achievement of the Commitment Award in November 2022.
The greatest benefit for Knill James of undertaking the Bronze award has been looking at how to use all existing forms of communication within the firm to engage with the team about wellbeing and promote all their initiatives. There are now wellbeing topics discussed at the firm’s quarterly meetings, wellbeing pages on the intranet with useful links, plus regular updates on initiatives in the staff newsletter.
As most of the team sit at desks all day, there has been a particular focus on musculoskeletal health, with an in-house Pilates session and a flow chart developed for reporting and addressing musculoskeletal symptoms. “The whole process has been a very positive experience which has helped us to focus and create a framework for all our wellbeing activities. The support we’ve received from the WAW team has been invaluable and we’re looking forward to carrying on with the journey” – Nick Rawson, Joint Managing Partner.
Rathfinny Wine Estate
Rathfinny Wine Estate, based in Alfriston, produce Sussex Sparkling wines. They achieved the Bronze Award in November 2023. Katy Lee, the award lead, commented on their experience of the programme “I’ve really enjoyed it. Achieving the award has allowed me to speak to my colleagues more confidently, learn how to reach people effectively and to signpost”.
Following the all-staff survey, members of the team, including managers, have been trained in mental health first aid. This initiative has allowed managers and staff to feel more confident in supporting mental health across their workforce.
Rathfinny has also worked hard to unite wellbeing initiatives across the diverse staff roles, from office staff to grape pickers. A wellbeing committee with representation from the range of teams has been established, as well as every member of staff now having access to their online communication channel, which hosts the monthly newsletter featuring a wellbeing item. Health screenings are also important to the business. Information on skin cancer awareness has been made available for pickers exposed to the elements, particularly seasonal workers. Earlier in the year the grape pickers also dressed in Pink to raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Now.
Kurt J Lesker Company
Kurt J Lesker Company, a manufacturer based in St Leonards-on-Sea, has reached Bronze Award in September 2023. One of the company’s best initiatives is to help staff be aware of their own wellbeing and how to look after themselves through a series of talks with specialists on a range of topics such as overcoming overwhelm and nutrition. Being mental health an important focus for them after Covid, the company also holds the SPIRIT Week, an annual event focused on mental health and wellbeing, with great engagement from staff and senior leaders. All information about their Wellness Programme, including the SPIRIT Week and the wellbeing talks, is shared on a dedicated page on the company’s Intranet and on a Team’s channel to engage as many employees as possible. As a result, staff see HR as open to listen and adapt to the employees’ needs and the company was the first manufacturer to reach the ISO 45001 late last year.
East Sussex College Group
East Sussex College Group, the largest higher education college in East Sussex with campuses across the county, was awarded with the Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award in December 2023. Taking part in the award has helped them realise what they were already doing in terms of wellbeing and the importance of signposting staff to support services available. Having good communication channels are crucial to engage their wide range of staff and to make sure everyone knows about the fantastic benefits and services available to them. A lot of work was done whilst working towards the Bronze Award on improving communication. The college has developed a new intranet, which is now a great place for staff to visit, easy to navigate and full of information on wellbeing ranging from ways to save money, details on internal communities such as the menopause support group and mental health awareness. Every week a round-up email covering the intranet highlights is sent out as another opportunity for staff to access important information. The college’s CEO, Rebecca Conroy, who is a great champion of all their wellbeing initiatives, broadcasts live to the staff every fortnight bringing important messages and reminders to everyone. People Services Manager, Clare Critchfield, reflected on how the programme has helped them to remember that staff come to work as a whole person, so all aspects of their wellbeing need to be supported.
Below are the small organisations (>49 employees) that have achieved a Small Business Bronze award
Ridgeview Wine Estate
Ridgeview is the first employer in East Sussex to be accredited with a Wellbeing at Work Small Business Bronze Award. Some of the successful projects they have launched as part of their wellbeing journey are implementing a cycle to work scheme, charity giving through payroll, a healthcare cashback scheme, mental health first aiders and becoming a disability confident employer.
Due to the nature of their business, they take great care in promoting MSK injury prevention and provide manual handling training too. As put by their employees, ‘The company embraces continuous improvement, is open to feedback from staff and is supportive of people across all stages of life. The CEO is very visible and approachable. It’s a great place to work.’
A challenge of having seasonal workers is ensuring everyone feels truly part of the organisation. Ridgeview ensures that all staff updates are filmed and available to rewatch, which ensures that all staff have access to communication channels and the ability to be involved in decision making.
Industrial Construction (Sussex) Ltd
ICS Roofing is the first construction company in East Sussex to be part of the scheme and be awarded with the Small Business Bronze Award.
As part of their award, the company has created a wellbeing folder in the shared drive, with wellbeing information and links for staff to seek information privately in their own time. They also run frequent Toolbox Talks on site for staff and sub-contractors, on particular topics such as mental health, musculoskeletal health and general wellbeing. Lunch and learn sessions are held regularly in the office, where staff come together to not only refresh their skills but also have wellbeing conversations.
Due to the various awareness training provided, managers feel confident to have wellbeing conversations when required and signpost staff to further information and support. The company wants to ensure everyone is supported. Undertaking the staff survey has allowed the opportunity for staff to feel that they are valued and that everyone has a voice.
All these initiatives have led ICS Roofing to create a truly open culture in a predominantly male industry, surrounded by a lot of stigma and stereotypes. An Impressive achievement! “Taking part in the awards scheme has given us the framework we needed to co-ordinate all our wellbeing initiatives” summarised Chantalle Sullivan, Wellbeing Lead and PA to Operations Manager.
Gradient Consultants Ltd
Gradient Consultants, a company with six employees based in Eastbourne, was awarded with the Small Business Bronze Award in January 2023.
Through weekly pulse surveys, a WhatsApp group where they check-in on each other daily and Monday meetings where everyone shares their priorities and concerns for the week, and has the opportunity to ask for support, the company has created ways of having everyday conversations about wellbeing, keeping a sense of connection between colleagues and fostering an open culture. As building surveyors and asbestos consultants, the nature of their work can often see the team on site and coupled with their hybrid working policy, which allows the freedom to work from home, they regularly work independently, making those check-ins a great way to bring the team together and create a safety net for them to fall back onto and get support. The Friday Pulse surveys are a simple way to assess staff morale and act quickly if any issues arise.
They also provide staff with the opportunity to express their gratitude to colleagues, which reinforces a sense of connection. Their Teams Wellbeing Channel is always kept fresh and updated, which is a great way to share information and reminders. With their awards journey, the company wants to ensure there is support available to everyone, and wellbeing conversations are kept current and at the forefront.
Care to You Heathcare
Care To You Healthcare is a small organisation based in Bexhill that provides home care services, which achieved the Wellbeing at Work Small Business Bronze award in January 2023.
One of the initiatives that had the greatest impact that the organisation undertook as part of their award was running a staff wellbeing survey. They felt that the survey has allowed them to recognise feedback and to involve staff in shaping the organisations wellbeing offer. It highlighted areas that the organisation was already doing well with, as well as areas for improvement.
Mo McAdam, Deputy Manager and Wellbeing Lead, stated ‘’undertaking the Small Business Bronze award was a more useful exercise than expected, the programme framework provides a holistic approach to wellbeing which we hadn’t previously considered. It has been helpful for us to focus on our own wellbeing, not just that of our clients’’.
Havens Community Hub
Havens Community Hub is a small Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Denton that provides support, engagement and community projects on the coastal stretch between Seaford and Saltdean. Havens Community Hub achieved the Wellbeing at Work Small Business Bronze award in January 2023.
One of the best initiatives that the organisation undertook as part of their award was running a staff health and wellbeing survey, as it is not something they had done before. The survey has provided excellent insight into which areas of health and wellbeing that staff would like support with.
Dani McDonald, award lead and Project Support Administrator, said ‘’We have always been focussed on the needs of staff and volunteers as Havens Community Hub with wellbeing at the forefront of everything that we do. However taking part in the Wellbeing at Work programme, and running a staff survey in particular, has helped us to prioritise providing the support and information that would be most helpful to our staff. We are excited to continue with the Small Business Silver award’’
The Village Shop and Cafe
The Village Shop and Café in Upper Dicker is the first hospitality and retail employer in East Sussex to be part of the programme and be awarded with the Small Business Bronze Award.
Taking part in the programme has given them the opportunity to think differently about wellbeing, and to review and change some of their practices and policies. As part of their award, they have promoted health and wellbeing through fun activities such as a laser tag game for staff, and an outdoor treasure hunt in the beautiful surrounding countryside for staff and local residents.
The café has made the most of their privileged position in a small village to also provide wellbeing support to the community. A mental health signposting sheet has been produced and handed out not only to employees but also to regular customers. Director Tess Flower, recognises that investing in wellbeing is much more important these days. She wants her café to be a space for people in the village to come together as a community and support each other. After shifts, staff have the opportunity to catch up about their days and how they are feeling. “It’s lovely to work here. Even though it’s a very busy environment, it’s a friendly one. There is a family feel and we are a close-knit group”.
Affinity Select Insurance Services Ltd
Affinity Select Insurance Services Limited, a small business based in Uckfield, which achieved the Wellbeing at Work Small Business Bronze Award in January 2023. This follows on from their achievement of the Commitment Award in September 2022.
As part of their Bronze award, every member of staff has undertaken suicide prevention training which has been one of the initiatives that the organisation is most proud of. A number of staff have also completed Mental Health First Aid or Mental Health Awareness training.
The organisation has a young workforce, and felt mental health and suicide prevention are important topics to address which would have a wider impact beyond the workplace. Implementing training on typically hard-to-talk about subjects has brought the workforce together, with more conversations about mental health taking place and colleagues talking more openly and confidently with one another.
Seaview Project, a small charity based in St Leonards, achieved the Wellbeing at Work Small Business Bronze Award in July 2023. This follows on from their achievement of the Commitment Award in April 2023.
As part of their award, Seaview Project have created a new staff bulletin that is shared regularly, as a consistent method of providing organisational updates and health and wellbeing information amongst the workforce. Through the bulletin they have raised awareness of healthy eating, getting better sleep quality, mental health and musculoskeletal health, as well as providing links to further support in local services. To aid with organisation and staying on track with their award, they have created a yearly plan for the bulletin.
The organisation has also being making use of the programmes training offer to upskill staff, with some individuals who have attended Menopause Demystified training becoming menopause champions for the workplace. When interviewed, staff members shared that they feel Seaview ‘‘ is a lovely place to work’’ and they ‘’definitely feel supported’’. The organisation has also been providing staff with practical help with the cost of living crisis – such as free lunches and a food store.
Heringtons are a leading law firm, with five offices along the coast of East Sussex, employing around 100 staff. They were accredited a Wellbeing at Work Bronze Award status in November 2023.
One of the most successful interventions evidenced as part of their award was moving individual printers from desks to dedicated printing rooms on each floor, providing opportunities for staff to move and take breaks away from their desks. Also introduced was a comprehensive wellbeing intranet section, and standing newsletter item, allowing wellbeing awareness to be embedded in communications. Another initiative has been to create wellbeing noticeboards across the workplace. Each noticeboard promotes topics such as NHS screenings, affordable healthy eating options and local signposting information. Significantly, staff have taken up NHS screening opportunities as a direct result of posters also being displayed on bathroom doors.
Staff have made use of access to training opportunities including Menopause Awareness and Managing Overwhelm. The Wellbeing at Work programme has formalised an already open and caring culture that supports wellbeing.
Dawson-Hart Solicitors Limited
Dawson Hart Solicitors, based in Uckfield, achieved the Wellbeing at Work Small Business Bronze Award in November 2023. The company dived in at Bronze level, achieving the award within approximately 6 months! As part of the award, the workplace has established a Wellbeing Committee who have been instrumental in introducing a number of wellbeing initiatives, such as weekly lunch time walks, and promoting two-way communication between staff and members. Staff have also attended suicide prevention and Mental Health First Aid training.
From their involvement in the Wellbeing at Work programme, Dawson Hart have also updated their Policies and promoted MSK pain and disorders and how they can be prevented. Information on workstation exercises has been shared, with print outs available in kitchen areas. Employees also received an invitation to a free back check, following an all staff meeting where MSK prevention and management were discussed.
The Award Lead, Nicola Harding, said of the Wellbeing at Work experience “the programme has provided great support and a useful framework for staff wellbeing”. Employees have noticed wellbeing is actively talked about, encouraged and clearly communicated in the workplace since the introduction of the award.
One You East Sussex
One You East Sussex, a free healthy lifestyle support service to East Sussex residents, have achieved Commitment Award in November 2023.
Being a health and wellbeing organisation, they were already doing a lot in terms of staff wellbeing. The Wellbeing at Work Programme has given them the opportunity to bring it all together and celebrate it with staff. Taking part in the programme has also given them the opportunity to plug a few gaps, such as promoting their HR policies to staff and where those policies can be found in case of need.
The organisation walks the walk: their staff engagement in physical activity challenges is a huge success and it brings people together in times of home working. For their wellbeing lead Dan Ford, “It’s been a positive experience to work alongside with the Wellbeing at Work team.” According to staff: “The company takes its values seriously, and it cares about work-life balance. There is a culture of taking care of staff.”
Mitchell & Cooper
Mitchell & Cooper’s dynamic wellbeing team achieved the Small Business Bronze Award in December 2023, in under a month!
They have continued to work on the successful roll out of their health and wellbeing survey by holding regular wellbeing meetings and offering internal trainings and webinars for staff. Additionally, an impressive wellbeing station has been set up and signposting information included all around the building.
The Wellbeing Team have been determined to raise awareness of important topics such as mental health and stress. Members of the team are proud to work here as Health & Wellbeing is at the forefront of their culture.
Let’s Do Business Group
Let’s Do Business Group, an organisation based in Hastings and working across the county, have achieved Small Business Bronze Award in January 2024.
Running the staff health and wellbeing survey has helped them understand what to prioritise. With a focus on mental health and healthy ageing, they have implemented an Employee Assistance Programme and offered a mental health awareness workshop to all staff, which was very well received. Moving forwards, they are planning a menopause awareness course for all their leaders and to have a menopause champion in their workplace to support colleagues.
All those initiatives have been valued by staff and the company could evidence that with the results of their latest annual survey. Their CEO Graham Marley said “Going through the Bronze Award helped us focus on the wellbeing of our team and it has given us the opportunity to improve our systems and practices. We were already doing a lot in terms of wellbeing, but the programme gave us a good framework that enabled us to enhance what we were already doing to support colleagues.”
APAC (Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy), the largest and most experienced Creative Arts and Play Therapy Training organisation in the world based in Uckfield, achieved Small Business Bronze Award in January 2024.
They have a Wellbeing Calendar and monthly wellbeing emails are sent out to all staff with a lot of useful information on different health topics and signposting to the support available. As a result, there has been a perceived cultural change within the company, with more focus and daily conversations on work stress, health and wellbeing. This has brought a sense of community in a hybrid and remote working environment. They are now building a new intranet which will have a dedicated wellbeing page to host all the information and shared resources.
Wellbeing lead, Radek Kwietniewski commented on the award: ‘The training provided by the programme has been brilliant and following the award criteria gave them more ideas of what to implement to improve staff wellbeing.’
Old School Surgery
Based in Seaford, Old School Surgery have built on their work at Commitment Award to further embrace and invest in staff wellbeing. They found the staff survey a useful tool to hear from staff about topics that were important to them. The survey could offer confidence in was what was wanted and provide evidence to inform what action was taken.
Wellbeing Lead Claire has spearheaded numerous initiatives, including sit stand desks for any staff, health screenings to be taken during work hours and updating the no smoking site signage. Approval has also been gained for a covered space to be built outdoors. Current building limitations make social space indoors a challenge. Staff will have now a designated sheltered space to take breaks in the fresh air.
Old School Surgery staff have made use of the training offer. Attending mental health awareness training, staff feel the training has helped support their roles. They highlighted having gained confidence and feeling comfortable to talk to colleagues about mental health. The practice has created a supportive environment for wellbeing, which is felt and recognised by staff.
Care for the Carers
Care for the Carers, an East Sussex charity supporting unpaid carers achieved the Small Business Bronze Award in August 2023. The process was led by their wellbeing group, made up of staff members from across the organisation. Members of the group have shown real commitment to creating a positive work environment for their colleagues and making long term changes to the culture of wellbeing in the organisation. As a group they secured high staff engagement and influence and achieved real change. This included the review of key policies such as sickness, bereavement, volunteering and Employees who are Carers to provide more support to all staff. Care for the Carers CEO Jennifer Twist says “We are delighted to become one of the first charities in the county to receive this award. We are dedicated to providing a supportive workplace for all our employees, and are grateful to Wellbeing at Work for their support during this process and beyond”.
Community Supporters, a small environmental education charity based in Bexhill, achieved Small Business Bronze Award in January 2024. Taking part in the award has provided them with the opportunity to do some activities they wouldn’t have done otherwise. Volunteers were also asked to complete the staff health and wellbeing survey, which made them feel included and looked after by the charity. Given the results of the survey, the charity have decided to focus on healthy eating and held a very successful healthy eating cooking activity. Trustees, staff, volunteers and even pro bono volunteers got involved and gathered one evening to cook a healthy meal together. As they all work most remotely and independently, the event was a great social opportunity for them, where they could learn new recipes and enjoy a meal together. All under £50! The charity also put a fruit bowl in the shop for staff, service users and volunteers to snack on while they do their activities, and a noticeboard with more information on healthy eating and hydration, which have been appreciated by all.