Teams from Apex Housing Association and Hunter Apparel were chosen from more than 50 nominations to take part in activities to demonstrate the importance of employee health and wellbeing, as Developing Healthy Communities prepares to launch a new workplace wellbeing service in the new year. 

At Developing Healthy Communities we have over decade of experience supporting health and wellbeing in workplaces through our Health@Work NI project. In January we will launch Team Health, a social enterprise from our workplace health experts that analyses an organisations health and wellbeing needs and pairs them up with perfectly matched experiences and providers.  

Apex’s Foyle Valley House team, which provides temporary accommodation for homeless women with an alcohol dependency, joined Far and Wild’s Lorcan McBride for a nature walk in the Urris Hills, Donegal last Friday (10 December). 

In November a group from Hunter Apparel, a professional clothing company specialising in providing product and software solutions for the niche PPE and uniform apparel market, joined Nuala McKeever from North Star Wellbeing for a morning that included laughter yoga, self-care planning and a mindful walk in St Columb’s Park. 

Across the two events... 

  • 94% of participants surveyed reported that their mental or physical wellbeing can affect their performance at work 
  • 100% of participants surveyed reported that the activities had a positive impact on their mental or physical wellbeing 

Health@Work NI Project Manager Sabrina Moore says: 

"We’ve known for a long time that workplaces play a massive role in individual health and wellbeing but Covid has brought that fact home like never before. In the UK, 17.9 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2019/20.  

"We wanted to treat two teams who have worked flat out during the first stages of the pandemic but we also wanted to demonstrate that when workplaces take care of their employees’ health and wellbeing it pays off for everybody."

Blathnaid McCole, Hunter Apparel, says: 

"Our team worked the entire way through the pandemic. We supplied over 50 million pieces of PPE to support the UK government and our staff quickly adapted to help manufacture a range of PPE items which were proving difficult to source. It was our small way of helping protect the protectors. 

"It’s been a very long year for all the staff and while we are extremely proud of them, we understand the toll it’s taken. The positivity that came back with the team after their wellbeing experience filtered through every level of the business."

Maureen Slater, Apex Housing Association, says: 

"The Foyle Valley House team works tirelessly supporting homeless women with complex issues. They constantly demonstrate compassion and empathy for women who have lost everything and are the most marginalised in our society. 

"Even in December, the chance to get outside together had a remarkable positive impact on us as a team. It was the push we needed to try something different and put the wellbeing of our colleagues first for the day."