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Tate St Ives

We are sometimes perceived as a wealthy organisation but in fact we have charity status, receiving 50% of our funding for running costs from the government and generating the rest ourselves. However, Tate has always appreciated and invested in its biggest resource - its staff.

With the help of Rachel Faulkner, I began to work on a number of initiatives to improve our teams’ health and wellbeing. At the same time as I began this work the government announced a further cut in our central funding which of course caused stress and anxiety amongst the team as restructuring and cost cutting measures were put in place across all four Tate galleries.

This was therefore a perfect time to look more carefully and creatively at our teams’ health and wellbeing, both physical and mental.

peopleWhat we do:

  • Strict guidelines on fair selection & interview process Support to new staff, with comprehensive induction programme, staff handbook and S.H.E Health and Safety booklet.
  • Tate Café offering many healthy options, with locally sourced produce wherever possible.
  • Monitoring sickness and absence.
  • Back to work interviews.
  • Health and Safety Policies.
  • Training through the Personal Development Process.
  • Flexi and Part time working is granted as long as operationally variable.
  • Corporate gym membership available at St Ives Leisure Centre.
  • Social Events, celebrations and congratulations.

What we have achieved in the last year:

Mental Health Week, offering a number of practical tools to reduce workplace stress: Mediation, Yoga, hand massage, aromatherapy and magazine reading with cakes. Green week, Cycle to work, walk the coast of Cornwall Challenge.

Tate St Ives Beach Social, Staff Healthy snack box, NHS leaflets and booklets.Staff Health Checks, Employee Assistant Programme.

What happens next …………?

  • A back Pain workshop is being provided, places were filled very quickly.
  • A Stress in the Workplace workshop, which underpins the work we started with Mental Health Week last year.
  • Plans have begun for a Staff Green Garden on the rooftop of the gallery. The aim is to provide a quiet spot away from the office and visitors, as well as growing a few stress relieving herbs and plants.
  • As soon as the weather allows, we’ll be taking our new sports equipment to the beach soon and looking or local organisations to partake in a little friendly competition …. after we’ve had some practice.

All of these initiatives, build on our previous successes, and help us to have a healthy workplace but we will continue to seek further opportunities and new ideas through which to achieve an even healthier work place. We hope we will see this validated in the results of our 2012 Staff survey.



St. Austell Brewery won a gold award on their first year of taking part in the programme. Chrissie Knight, Occupational Health Manager for the brewery, commented, “Caring for and investing in the workforce has always been a priority at the Brewery and it is wonderful to gain recognition for the work that takes place at all levels to ensure that we remain an employer of choice for people in the South West, which is not only because of the opportunities that exist at many levels within the organisation, but also because of the support and benefits that exist for all employees”

Cancer Support in the Workplace - Dec 2013

Almost one person in five with cancer who was employed full time when they were diagnosed felt that their employer could have done more to understand their needs and circumstances, a poll by insurer Unum and Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres found.  Better communication was the key, it added.  ( Occupational Health, December 2013)

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