Aquarius has launched a new Northamptonshire division and has marked this by unveiling plans for a new advocacy programme and a new partnership.
The national charity, whose workplace service, Aquarius Life, supports people affected by alcohol, drugs and gambling and offers support to employers via policies, training and workshops, has announced a new partnership with Northampton’s Brackmills Industrial Estate Business Improvement District (BID).
The BID has signed up to become the charity’s very first Advocate – an initiative which will provide all estate businesses with access to training and policy support.
Dean Horton, Commercial Accounts Manager of Aquarius Life, said: “We are proud to be launching our new advocacy scheme here in Northampton and delighted that Brackmills – one of the most prestigious industrial estates in the UK – has come on board. We look forward to running events, helping companies with their policy documents, providing training and much more. Everything we do will be about helping businesses to help their employees, and improve a workplace for all.
“We look forward to rolling this advocacy programme out across Northamptonshire and, longer term, the UK. For now, though our priority is Brackmills and supporting the 120-plus businesses based there.”
Sara Homer, Brackmills BID CEO, added: “By partnering with Aquarius Life we are taking practical steps to help our businesses safeguard the health and wellbeing of their employees. Safety on the estate is one of our key objectives and this partnership will enable businesses to get practical support, which will benefit not just employers but all businesses on the estate.
“Particularly appealing is that Aquarius Life is a charity which means all income generated is reinvested into the charity’s community services, so has the additional benefit of serving the both the BID’s and our businesses’ Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.
“Our businesses pay an annual BID levy, which means we can constantly improve and invest in the estate and this new partnership is part of our commitment to supporting all our businesses with any challenges or requirements that may arise.”
The 2018 CIPD Health and Wellbeing at work report states that employers with a wellbeing initiative such as substance misuse support have dramatically improved employee morale and a 31% lower sickness absence rate. Amazingly, though, 60% of organisations do not yet have a wellbeing strategy. This is the type of practical support we can offer.”
According to statistics:
- It is estimated that 1.5 million people are addicted to prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the UK. Many of these drugs can have a significant effect on performance, concentration, or alertness.
- The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s paper on workplace wellbeing states that prevention and early identification of problems, should save employers at least £8bn per annum (UK).
- Yet as little as 32% of organisations surveyed are taking steps to address unhealthy working practices
- Sickness absence has fallen to an all-time low, but working when unwell has been reported by 89% of respondents
- 46% of long-term absences are due to stress
- Mental ill-health is a key factor in 59% of long-term absences
Signing up to become an Aquarius Life Advocate means Brackmills businesses will now have access to training and awareness programmes, support with their alcohol, drug, health and wellbeing strategies and policies, and on and off-site one-to-one and group psychological support.
The partnership will seek to:
- Encourage businesses to recognise the challenges behind the issues of alcohol, drugs and gambling
- Reduce the stigma attached to these issues and encourage people to come forward
- Help people understand their behaviours, and find alternative ways to cope
- Raise awareness of alcohol, drug, and gambling issues in the workplace
- Lessen the risk of these issues escalating into detrimental issues in workplaces
- Help people overcome the harms caused by alcohol, drugs and gambling
- Make Brackmills BID a forerunner in rolling out the advocacy scheme
- Make Brackmills Industrial Estate safer for everyone on it
Find out more about Brackmills Industrial Estate at: https://www.brackmillsindustrialestate.co.uk/
Find out more about Aquarius Life at the website: https://www.aquariuslife.org.uk/