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YMCA is an independent charity company
What we do:
YMCA Cornwall is the umbrella body for YMCA Penzance Backpackers Hostel, YMCA Penzance, YMCA Redruth and YMCA Mullion. YMCA Cornwall provides housing, resettlement support, backpackers facilities, youth projects covering education and learning, indoor cycling classes, nursery provision and room hire.
The YMCA is an independent charity company, limited by guarantee, and is part of an International Christian Movement which recognises the equal value of all people seeking to serve the community in Cornwall with an emphasis on the young, by providing them with a stimulating and supportive environment, enabling them to enrich their lives and the lives of others.
Why we became a healthy workplace:
YMCA Cornwall signed up to the Healthy Workplace Award in November 2011 as it recognised that by tackling the workplace health criteria holistically, it could help improve the health of the workforce and help them cope better with the changes that were going on as well as making YMCA Cornwall a great place to work and improving its corporate image. A bonus was that we halved our absence figures.
Recent health and well being activities:
A ‘Health and Well-Being’ directory was set up on the intranet containing information about all sorts of health issues covering different types of cancer, healthy eating, physical activity, alcohol and substance abuse among many other topics. This is supported by displays and awareness events held throughout the year to cover various issues such as alcohol, skin cancer, and breast cancer awareness days, stop smoking days, etc. This information contains the latest advice and signposts employees to areas where they can obtain further help and information. This year, we spent some time raising awareness about diabetes through distribution of the 'know your risk' tool and articles under the regular health and well-being column in the staff newsletter and information was also added to the Health and Well-Being directory.
In terms of stress and depression, we introduced a self-referral system for staff to a counsellor if they needed some independent support.
Some of the staff have joined various exercise and circuit classes that are run by our room hire customers. Staff receive some of these at a reduced rate, and in some cases, free of charge. These include body balance, circuit training, metafit, kettlebells and our own indoor cycling classes amongst many others and our flexible working policy allows staff to attend by moving round their lunchtimes or being flexible with their hours.
Last year, for the first time, a team was entered into the Get Active Challenge run by Get Active Cornwall where we came third and a team entered a 7 kilometre K9 challenge to raise funds for a dog charity.
YMCA Cornwall was, this year, featured as a case study by the British Heart Foundation covering the work we had done within the Workplace Health Scheme. One member of staff who hadn't cycled for a few years got back into it and set off as part of a group to cycle 330 or so miles to Tottenham Court Road, London to raise funds for the work we do. He regularly cycles to work and back from Hayle.
The annual pedometer challenge takes place each year to encourage more of the staff to increase the amount they walk.
For those unable, or not so keen, to attend activities, we pick them up through our 'team away' day where we help out at Bosavern Community Farm digging, shovelling compost, rigging polytunnels, painting hen huts, etc. A good fun day with lots of exercise!
Our workplace health programme addresses both individual health behaviours as well as health and safety risks from the work environment which also reduce disease and injury risk. Participation in activities allows employees to develop knowledge, self-management and coping skills as well as build a social support network among their fellow workers, managers, and family. A comprehensive workplace health programme is an investment made by the YMCA for staff well-being and reflects how much we care about our employees". David Hall-Davies, CEO, YMCA Cornwall