Health in the Workplace: New year, new ambitions

Peter Funnell of Healthy Ambitions Suffolk

Peter Funnell of Healthy Ambitions Suffolk - Credit: Archant

DR PETER Funnell looks ahead to another busy year of activities and events for the Healthy Ambitions Suffolk project.

2012 was a very busy year for Healthy Ambitions Suffolk and saw us complete the transition from an initiative into a working charity and social enterprise.

During this period and into 2013 our aim has remained constant – to support Suffolk becoming “the healthiest county” by 2028 by focusing on promoting and encouraging “heart health”.

Through the leadership of our “joint boards”, which include senior representatives from the private, public and third sectors, we now have a robust business plan that will take us through to 2015.

In delivering our plan we will be working with new and existing partners and offering an exciting range of initiatives and services which add value to existing health improvement programmes in the county.

I am personally delighted that Richard Powell OBE has joined us this month in the role of chief executive and will be leading the organisation as it addresses health inequalities across the county and encourages a healthier, more active lifestyle for everyone. Richard is well known in Suffolk and will bring his experience, energy and drive to our work.

One key area we will concentrate on during 2013 is workplace health. A healthy workforce is the foundation of a healthy and successful organisation, and makes a real contribution to the balance sheet of all businesses.

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We will continue with our charitable giving to community groups across the county to help address the health inequalities which so many of our children face.

Better nutrition and more activity will help our children to learn more at school and develop to meet future challenges as they grow and become the adults of 2028.

The importance of eating healthy food and the difference it can make to our health cannot be over-emphasised. We are very lucky here in Suffolk to have such a wide variety of local produce to choose from.

This year we are delighted to be sponsoring the Suffolk Agricultural Associations’ School Farm and Country Fair as together we can help the school children of Suffolk learn about the contribution that our agricultural community makes to helping us eat well and live healthier lives.

The “Great Outdoors” will also feature heavily in our activities for 2013, as we once again support the Great East Swim, the Suffolk Show and the Orwell Walk, which this year will feature both walking and cycling challenges. We will also have some new physical challenges to encourage people to get out and be more active.

All in all, it’s going to be a great year and here at Healthy Ambitions Suffolk we are looking forward to the challenges ahead and to supporting everyone to make the lifestyles decisions that help us look after our hearts, our health and our future.

: : On Friday, March 1, Healthy Ambitions Suffolk, supported by our strategic partner the British Heart Foundation (BHF), will be holding an innovative and engaging event to promote workplace health and wellbeing to local business leaders.

This unique event is being held at the Trinity Park Conference Centre, on the edge of Ipswich, with the programme starting 9.30am and concluding after lunch.

The event will give local employers an opportunity to learn about the important role that a healthy workforce plays in increasing business productivity, but will also be a great opportunity to network with other business leaders.

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speakers will be world renowned Bob Laventure from the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health, local MP Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, and Clifford Emmerson, who is a qualified Human Givens practitioner.

A team of BHF experts will be present to deliver fun and interactive sessions to raise awareness of a wide range of health issues and promote a healthier lifestyle to local employers, raising their awareness of the importance and benefits of having a healthy workforce.

The event will also include the presentation of the Healthy Ambitions Suffolk 2012 Better Health – Better Business Awards to successful local employers.

The event is exclusively available at no charge to employers in Suffolk. If you would like to book a place at what will prove to be an interesting and informative event, please contact Leoni or Anne at Healthy Ambitions Suffolk on 01473 786671 or email business@healthyambitionssuffolk.co.uk .

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