George Eliot Hospital Unison convener, Dawn Downes was honoured with a Unison Regional Customer Service Award on 15 November 2017.
Dawn was presented with the award for her partnership working within the hospital to support staff based at the George Eliot. In particular, the award recognised the support from Dawn and the hospital union branch for the many health and wellbeing initiatives delivered at the hospital to support employees.
Dawn said: “I am extremely proud of our partnership working at the hospital and collaboratively we are ensuring that the health and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and our patients is supported and recognised.
“I work closely with the health and wellbeing group, which consists of many staff members across the Trust, who work incredibly hard to ensure to support our staff.
“Unison is extremely proud to be part of that group and this award is a big thank you to all of my wellbeing colleagues.”
The hospital Health and Wellbeing Group, which includes Dawn and the union representatives working within the hospital, has provided many initiatives over the last few years, including the provision of picnic benches, water coolers, events, fitness activities and wellbeing walkabouts through the hospital.
The group has also championed innovative ideas like Oasis, who are specialist team of volunteers who provide relaxation and massage services to both staff and patients.
Recently, the group implemented a ‘wellbeing hub’ project within a staff courtyard. The new space includes welcoming garden furniture to staff to use in their breaks or for staff events all year round. The centrepiece of the hub includes a summer house for staff to use for wellbeing workshops and meetings, including relaxation and hand massage sessions to relieve stress and tension.
Finance for wellbeing initiatives come from the staff’s ‘Health and Wellbeing Fund’ which receives funding through the staff lottery and other wellbeing initiatives. The fund provides lottery prizes and uses the rest of the money to support staff. The local Unison branch has also funded or part funded many of the staff initiatives too.