PEOPLE’S HEALTH AND WELLBEING AT WORK was the subject of a major conference organised by Sunderland City Council.

Employers from across the city gathered at a conference hosted by the Sunderland Workplace Health Alliance, which is coordinated by Sunderland City Council to discuss people’s health and wellbeing at work.

The event at Bede Tower, Burdon Road, was organised by the Sunderland Workplace Health Alliance in partnership with Pioneering Care Partnership, and featured keynote speakers from the public, business and health sectors.

The Alliance is a multi-agency partnership between Sunderland City Council, local businesses, the NHS and the voluntary and community sector which aims to work collaboratively to improve health and wellbeing within workplaces across the city.

Since last year’s annual event the Alliance’s membership has more than doubled to 95 with more businesses keen to share ideas and good practice on how to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees, which reduces sickness levels and increases employee productivity.

In a welcome speech by the Chair of the Alliance, Managing Director from Liebherr-Sunderland Works Ltd, Ralph Saelzer, he highlighted the role of work in people’s health and well-being and the achievements of the Sunderland Workplace Health Alliance over the past year.

He then introduced the agenda and speakers for the day.

These included Sunderland’s Director of Public Health, Gillian Gibson, who addressed the delegates on the state of health in the City and how workplaces can be a real asset in addressing health needs. There were presentations from Hays Travel, Rocket Medical and Tombola on how they were implementing health and wellbeing with their employees.

There were also a series of information sharing sessions where individual businesses described how they support their employees, sharing tips for what works well in the workplace.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Councillor Dr Geoffrey Walker said; ”People spend the majority of their day at work, so it’s vitally important for them and their employers to have safe, healthy and productive workplaces.

“How to achieve that isn’t always clear, so events like these have a massive role to play in sharing advice, ideas, experiences and building capacity.

“The Sunderland Workplace Health Alliance plays a lead role in the city, but its long- term success is dependent on the continuing support of employers from across the city. I’d like to thank all the businesses who took part in this event and invite others to join us in the year ahead to prioritise workplace health benefitting employees.”

The event was held to support the aims and objectives of the Sunderland Health and Wellbeing Board, which includes providing business leaders with the practical help and advice they need to improve the health of their employees and achieve a healthier, happier and more motivated workforce in the process.

The event concluded with all delegates committing to making a pledge to ‘Time to Change.’

The Time to Change Employer Pledge is a commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace. Mental health will be a key focus of the Sunderland Workplace Health Alliance during 2020.

More than 100 delegates from Sunderland businesses came together to share practice to improve workplace health with Public Health practitioners from Sunderland City Council on hand throughout the day.

The Alliance currently represents 95 Sunderland companies from large scale employers such as Liebherr UK, Asda, Sunderland College, Barclays and University of Sunderland to medium sized companies such as, UK Independent Medical, Clearly Drinks, and Inflo and small businesses such Foundation of Light and Washington Mind.

To find out more about the Workplace Alliance contact Sunderland City Council on 0191 561 1976 or email and ask for the Workplace Health team.