Jessica Ward and Elizabeth McGavin work in the Staffing Solutions (Recruitment) and Advice and Guidance Team (HR, Employee Relations) within the People and Organisational Directorate for Derbyshire Community Health Services. Here they tell us about what they did for NHS Change Day 2015.
Working in a busy and vibrant department we share everyone’s celebrations because celebration can mean only one thing…. JUNK food!!! Barely a week goes by without partaking in brownie bites and homemade cupcakes from the manager. The sugar-coma and afternoon ‘slump’ feeling was all too familiar.
Our mission was to halt this rapid decline into lethargy with a healthy change for NHS Change Day, matching perfectly with the theme for this year of ‘Health and Wellbeing’.
Some of our more health conscious colleagues regularly brought in green smoothies, much to the horror of some of their co-workers. They generated conversation amongst us all with the health conscious preaching their tastiness and health benefits and the chocolate lovers being left seriously unconvinced and reaching for the sweetie tin. This battle between green v sugar inspired the Smoothie challenge.
Led by Sue and Alistair on a Wednesday morning (when we would usually be having our Wednesday team meeting) the team were presented with six fruit and veg smoothies to try. All the smoothies had a green base (we chose Kale or Spinach) followed by fruit. Each team member contributed by bringing in a different item.
The following smoothies were made:
- Tropical Paradise
- Strawberry Dream
- Bursting Blueberry
- Marvellous Mango
- Raging Raspberry
- Blazin’ Beetroot
Our winner was Strawberry Dream! One member of the team commented it tasted “like holidays”.
Unanimously the least favoured was the Blazin’ Beetroot, which unfortunately got no votes.
To incorporate our Change Day pledges on Health and Wellbeing, Janet Davies kindly created a ‘pledge’ Wall in our team meeting room. On here we could display our health and wellbeing pledges for the next year. The pledge wall is a really great way to remember the day and to have something positive to focus on.
An example pledge was: “I pledge to make the workplace a healthier, happier place. More smiling and asking how people are, how was their weekend? I will provide healthier snacks such as fruit and veg over sweets and chocolate”.
To coincide with our Smoothie Challenge and pledge wall, our Workplace Health Champion, Sue Fletcher, created a well-being noticeboard to signpost a range of well-being issues such as alcohol and drug counselling, debt management and domestic abuse.
NHS Change Day was enjoyed by all. It was a great team building event and a chance for everyone to try something new. One member now uses juicing on a regular basis as a way to fast-track her nutrients. It was extremely informative and eye-opening to see how raw fruit and vegetables combined can be healthy and delicious.
The People and Organisational Effectiveness Directorate have since become more health conscious, physically and mentally. We are mindful that health isn’t just what you eat, but the whole package e.g. nutrition, exercise and a healthy outlook, each with equal importance. The impact has been very positive within the office.
To help raise money for a new Cancer Centre, which is to be built in Chesterfield, we are using health and fitness as a way to raise money. NHS Change Day inspired this idea.
We are and will remain advocates for NHS Change Day.