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4:37pm 19th February 2014
(Updated 11:15am 20th February 2014)

Three Yorkshire businesses have been awarded the Healthy Heart Mark by National charity Heart Research UK for their healthy workplace environments.

UK Asset Resolution (UKAR), the holding company for Bradford & Bingley (B&B) and Northern Rock (Asset Management) (NRAM); Christeyns UK, who specialise in the industrial chemicals market, and Drax Power Limited, have all been awarded the prestigious award for helping their staff to life healthier lives.

The Heart Research UK healthy heart mark scheme is aimed at recognising employers’ efforts to improve the wellbeing of employees by implementing health initiatives at work. There are three levels – bronze, silver and gold – and businesses achieve the ratings by demonstrating that they are encouraging staff to a healthier lifestyle.

UKAR based in Crossflatts (West Yorkshire) and Doxford (Sunderland) and Christyens UK, based in Bradford- have been awarded their gold Healthy Heart Mark.  Drax have achieved the silver award, with high hopes to achieve gold very shortly. The companies have worked hard across the board to portray the healthy heart message.

To gain the gold award UKAR introduced a programme of health and lifestyle initiatives for staff at both its sites in Crossflatts (West Yorkshire) and Doxford (Sunderland) to support them in making healthy choices in diet, exercise and encouraging others to follow healthier living.

Among the initiatives UKAR have introduced include meal deals in the staff restaurant to encourage healthier choices, swapping crisps for fruit, and fizzy drinks for water.  Another was the development of healthy eating initiatives, demonstrating that healthy eating is now an established well-being programme at UKAR. 

UKAR CSR Consultant, Margaret Mooney said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the gold Healthy Mark Employer Award from Heart Research UK. At UKAR we are committed to enabling our employees to improve their health and wellbeing and this award is recognition of the great work we have done.

"We plan to maintain our health and well-being programme and have a series of initiatives already planned for 2014.”

Christeyns, who have also won the gold award, did so by spreading key healthy heart messages through fun activities and various events and challenges. A total of 60 colleagues took part in a healthy eating barbeque, with some even taking out a gym membership.

With the support of staff, they have incorporated non-smoking days and awareness seminars into their busy work days. In the future, Christeyns hope to cherry-pick which events were the best and carry them on so the healthy heart message is not lost, and encourage staff to always respect their bodies and exercise.

Christeyns HR manager, Jill Ingham, said: “These events and activities have brought everyone closer together. It has been challenging at times, but it is all for a good cause and has taught us how to keep our hearts healthy.” 

Drax Power Limited has been given the silver award for their efforts in keeping staff aware of the heart healthy message. They have held various healthy days including ‘Fruit Friday’ and introducing oily fish into the restaurant.

 Drax have also been teaching members the importance of exercise, by signing staff up to run a 10k event, and starting on-site yoga sessions. Amongst other activities, Drax had a golf team-building day which not only helped people get to know one another but gave them some relaxation techniques.  

Drax Occupational Health Manager, Gillian Eastwood, said: “We have made every effort to get staff to understand how important it is to keep fit. Our menu change has been a great success and has encouraged employees to eat healthily. We have also supported staff to quit smoking and keep hydrated throughout the working day.”

You can also follow Heart Research UK on Twitter: @heartresearchuk or become a fan of our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heart-Research-UK/10733061906

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