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Better Health ‘Maintaining Excellence’ award

Published on 09 January 2023

Better Health ‘Maintaining Excellence’ award

Carlisle City Council’s support for its staff has been recognised yet again with a Maintaining Excellence in the Better Health at Work Award - the highest-level accolade.

The award recognises the City Council’s achievement in supporting employees to maintain their own wellbeing through raising awareness and providing access to wellbeing activities.

The Better Health at Work Award, supported by all of the participating local authorities and coordinated by the Northern TUC, recognises the efforts of employers in the North East and Cumbria in addressing health issues within the workplace. There are five levels to the Award - Bronze, Silver, Gold, Continuing Excellence and Maintaining Excellence, with appropriate criteria at each stage to build into an Award Portfolio. 

Organisations are given up to a year per level, but there is flexibility for those who need it. All organisations have to start at Bronze Level.

The council’s submission contained many elements of good and best practice. The assessors said that:

“The Lead Health Advocate is an active and proactive proponent for the Award both inside and outside the organisation and is always happy and willing to share contacts and information with fellow participants.

“One of the highlights of the men's health campaign is the adoption of and partnership working with Andy's Man Club. The promotion of it on the side of three of the refuse fleet vehicles is absolutely fantastic, as is the securing of the first Cumbrian venue for the Club, which is a great development for the whole community.”

Andy’s Man Club is a national men’s suicide prevention charity.

Carlisle City Council got involved with their campaign when a member of the council team attended a health webinar in February 2022 and met Neil Waine from Andy’s Man Club.

The council facilitated numerous offers of support of help. This included promoting the campaign on three of their refuse vehicles.

Andy’s Man Club have set up their first Cumbrian venue in Workington, which they are launching on Monday 16 January. Find out more at

Neil Waine, Andy’s Man Club, Project Development Champion added:

"We are really grateful to Carlisle City Council for their amazing support of Andy’s Man Club. This will really help us push the group in the local area and, as we are now very close to opening Cumbrian venues, it has come at a great time. This will help us reach men who need to talk and give them somewhere to do just that. Amazing what can come from an initial conversation with the council."

In addition to campaign to support men’s health, the Better Health at Work Award assessors also commented that:

“The continued focus on finance and financial wellbeing is considered and practical and again, a good range of topics/aspects of the subject were covered, providing something for everyone; budgeting, cost of living, pensions, credit, house-buying, saving and more. Physical Activity was addressed well, with an activity offer, holistic therapies, health checks and MSK support all delivered.”

The City Council have 15 trained Health Advocates. An advocate is someone who is passionate about health and wellbeing, wants to help raise awareness of health topics, and contribute to developing a positive wellbeing culture in the workplace.

The award will help focus wellbeing initiatives on issues employees want to know more about, allowing support for colleagues to be well in and out of work.

Jason Gooding, Carlisle City Council’s Chief Executive, said:

“The health and wellbeing of our staff is a top priority. We have put in place a range of measures to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect and help our workforce.

“The mental health of our staff is critical; they are frequently reminded of the free professional support available. We are committed to ensuring that we have a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce.

“I’m delighted that our support of Andy’s Man Club has also been highlighted as part of the Better at Health assessment. Thanks to colleagues for making suggestions, and putting into action, support for the campaign.”

The council continues to offer mental health awareness training and wellbeing forms part of the employee and management competency standards.

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