Healthy-minded staff have attended a health and well-being fair at Devonport Naval Base.
Jointly organised by Naval Base Commander’s staff with Babcock, Interserve and ESS, the event attracted civilian and military personnel to seek advice on emotional and physical health from 45 external organisations and MOD experts.
Maintaining the health and well-being of all personnel is of paramount importance to Naval Base directors as a duty of care and has been proved to optimise health and performance at work.
Advice and guidance came from across the Plymouth and SW region with a wide range of providers, including charities such as St Luke’s Hospice; Plymouth Public Health and other city council services, emergency services such as Devon and Cornwall Police; Marjon University sports physiotherapists and Royal Navy PTIs.
Colonel Simon Chapman, Captain of the Base, opened and toured the fair fresh from having completed ten marathons in ten days for charity. Simon had his blood pressure taken, took advice on avoiding strains and competed in an exercise machine-based ‘triathlon’ challenge.
He said: “The health and wellbeing of all our personnel is essential to the Royal Navy, our civilian colleagues and industrial partners, both from a professional and personal viewpoint. A healthy and otherwise happy person is generally a productive professional at work, whether on the military frontline or on vital support work.
“It’s very heartening to see so many people from the Navy and our industrial partners visiting the many health and well-being stalls and taking part in the activities. The best outcome from visits to the fair is that staff found out where to get vital information crucial to their specific needs.’’
He added that an important aim of the fair was for staff to take home the advice and guidance they receive, so their friends and family benefitted.
Will Erith, of Babcock, MOD’s major industrial partner, said: “Health and wellbeing is very important for all our employees and we encourage everyone to take active steps to improve their health. The healthier and happier an employee is the more productive and efficient they are. The more energy a person has, the more positive and enthusiastic they tend to be, which all makes for the best workplaces and ultimately benefits the company and the community.’’
He said Babcock had a sustainable travel to work policy which encouraged staff to use the fitter option of bikes if practical and provided bike lanes.
Chris Trevitt, of Interserve, said the company had a sustainable policy which helped create an environment suitable for a productive workforce, good for their wellbeing. His grounds team regenerated barren areas and brought colour to the Naval Base among other ways of creating a relaxing and enjoyable workplace.
Also attending was Elmer the colourful elephant sculpture and a colleague belonging to St Luke’s Hospice. The sculptures will be followed by others commissioned to be painted with different themes. The ‘herd’ will be sited around Plymouth centre for the Elmer’s Big Parade event next year to encourage healthy exercise and ultimately raise funds for the hospice. Elmer is a children’s story character by David McKee, Devon-born artist and author.