Newton Aycliffe’s biggest employer, automotive manufacturer Gestamp, has taken on a full-time wellbeing lead at its huge Aycliffe Business Park site, as the firm trains up 25 mental health first aiders.
Gestamp – a multinational company which specialises in the design, development and manufacture of highly engineered metal components for the automotive industry – is also embracing a range of national and local mental health awareness campaigns, encouraging employees to take part as part of Gestamp’s health and wellbeing vision for the company and its 1,000-plus workforce.
The company is also preparing to invest in a bespoke ‘R&R’ wellbeing zone within a new state-of-the-art training and development facility.
HR professional Alastair Waugh has been appointed wellbeing lead at Gestamp and is heading up the firm’s staff health initiatives.
He said: “Health and wellbeing is now a critical part of our strategy to reaffirm our message as a caring employer and to become the employer of choice locally.
“We have to do things differently – especially after the last two years – and wellbeing is so important. We really want to take care of our staff.
“It’s something we take very seriously. And Gestamp have invested not only in my role to deliver this, but also the new wellbeing development within the Tallent Academy.
“It’s a brand new role, the only one in the UK across the Gestamp group, and I feel really privileged to be given the opportunity.”
And as well as having 25 trained mental health first aiders, Gestamp have launched a 24-hour call line for workers.
Other initiatives have included giving staff extra time for breaks and free use of vending machines to encourage employees to take more time out.
Jonathan Phillips, plant director at Gestamp in Aycliffe, said: “This investment in our staff and their wellbeing shows our commitment to our workforce, as well as our vision to being the local employer of choice. We aim to give back to the community in any way we can.”