A dynamic workplace initiative that is proactively improving the health and well-being of staff and students at Southampton Solent University has won one of the most coveted awards of the health and fitness sector.
The Solent Health Spark scheme – created in 2009 to deliver a wide range of programmes to improve the health and well-being of both staff and students – was awarded the ukactive & Matrix Flame award for Work Place Wellbeing at a prestigious award ceremony at Telford International Centre earlier this month.
Speaking at the awards, David Stalker, CEO of ukactive, said: “The Flame awards assessment process is known for being the most rigorous in the industry, so to just to make it into the list of finalists is a phenomenal achievement. The winners are undeniably the best of the best and a credit to our sector.”
Stress-busting initiatives, blood pressure testing, free bike servicing, and much more
The Health Spark team works with external organisations and practitioners, as well as staff and students on the health and fitness courses, to deliver a diverse programme that includes:
- blood pressure and cholesterol testing to identify health risks
- schemes to increase physical activity such as pedometer challenges, stair climbing campaigns, and free bike servicing
- development and training courses that enable staff to learn new skills, increase their wellbeing and have fun.
Health Spark initiative: a sustainable, accessible and valued programme
Chris Dunn, Health Promotion Manager and Health Spark founder says: “Over the last four years we’ve worked hard to build a sustainable, accessible and valued programme, and we are absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way.”
An initiative with benefits for all: students, staff and the University
Martin Skivington, Principal Lecturer on the University’s health and fitness courses, believes that one of the main strengths of the programme is the involvement of students studying on the wide range of sports courses at Solent.
Martin says: “The students benefit from working with real clients, the staff benefit from improved health, and the University benefits from a reduction in absenteeism.”
Keen to build on their success, the Health Spark team’s ultimate aim is to create an environment where taking action to improve health and well-being is a normal part of daily life at the University.
The Solent Health Spark initiative was launched in 2009 and has flourished ever since. It has always been a valued service within Sport Solent, and we must now say farewell to our colleagues as Health Spark is being moved to the new School of Health, Exercise and Social Sciences in August 2014.
Sport Solent would like to thank Solent Health Spark for all their hard work over the years and are immensely proud of all they have achieved to improve the health of Southampton Solent University staff and students.
Solent Health Spark manager, Chris Dunn said, “We are excited about our imminent move to the School of Health, Exercise and Social Science, moving into a School where health is a key focus makes sense and will strengthen our programme and lead us into new areas, taking Health Spark to its next exciting phase of development.”
The Dean of the Faculty of Business, Sport and Enterprise, Professor Jenny Anderson, said: “I am delighted to welcome Health Spark to the faculty. Since Health Spark launched in late 2009 there has been a supporting trend of declining sickness absence levels at the University. Employee feedback shows that 93% of surveyed staff think that Health Spark makes Solent a better place to work.”