Health Works Award

Health Works Awards

Success Stories

Gold, Age Concern, Preston & South Ribble

As a team of staff we encouraged each other to eat healthily and take more exercise, we also substituted our usual afternoon biscuit for a piece of fruit.

Judith Culshaw

Statement of Purpose:

To promote the well being of all older people and help make later life a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

Organisation and Responsibilities:

The Constitution provides for the appointment of a Board of Management, comprising ten members, including the Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer.  The Board Members are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds including business, health, strategic management, volunteering, ethnic heritage and finance.  The board of Management is, therefore, well equipped to carry out its role, the principal elements of which are:

  1. The formulation of policy

  2. The oversight of the management of the organisation

  3. Ensuring the fulfilment of the objects of the constitution i.e. to promote the relief of aged people in any manner which now is or hereafter may be deemed by law to be charitable within the City of Preston and Borough of South Ribble.

The organisation has adopted an open style of management, which is hoped helps to foster a climate of interest, commitment and excellence throughout and encourages team work. 

Age Concern offers a wide range of services to support older people which include:

  • Enhanced day and community support for people with memory concerns including dementia;

  • Community Services which promote independent living and enablement;

  • Active ageing, encouraging life long learning and intergenerational work;

  • Ensuring Equality and Diversity through all we do by offering specific projects to support and raise awareness of isolated groups of older people.  

In undertaking this work the organisation currently employs over 110 staff and is supported by over 275 dedicated volunteers who undertake over 300 roles.  We remain proud to state that volunteers are involved in almost every aspect of the organisation activities.

Background to the Health Works programme:

As a forward thinking organisation we constantly strive to improve the services we offer by consulting with users, listening to our staff and volunteers and refreshing, reviewing and updating our policies, procedures and working environment.  The Health Works programme enabled us to do this in a very constructive way and to recognise and reward those staff and volunteers who worked on the project.

In getting started we identified that we needed to have a dedicated staff member to drive the project forward with the support of the executive team for resources.  Our Equality and Diversity volunteered to officer lead the work and undertake the initial research to identify issues, tasks and roles.

She felt it important in tackling the project to draw together a task group comprising of staff and volunteers who had an interest, willingness and commitment to achieving the award.  Members of the group worked in pairs breaking down the tasks into manageable sizes.  This method allowed colleagues to support one another practically and without feeling overwhelmed by the task in hand.

Top Tips to other organisations thinking of going for the award would be:

  • Give responsibility and dedicated time to an individual to lead on the programme;

  • Be realistic when setting time scales.   Remember staff /volunteers have a day job and need to keep motivated;

  • Do include and consult people and value peoples opinions they often have a refreshing approach to tackling a problem;

  • Keep all your evidence as you go along.

Benefits to employees/volunteers apart from the obvious of improved policies etc were that they felt engaged in changing or implementing practise.  For example how we adopted and implemented the no smoking policy.  Initially we had very negative comments from some volunteers who felt that they could not ask someone in their own home not to smoke.  This started a very interesting debate and discussion around ‘rights, risks, and responsibilities about which staff and volunteers had some very strong opinions.  The outcome though was that we were able to introduce a policy and working arrangements that people were singed up to and supportive of enabling smooth implementation and operation.

Returns to investment included, the introduction of a cycle store (helped by a grant), healthier work environment for staff and volunteers, improved personal development opportunities for staff and volunteers.


From a Manager:

Working on the no smoking policy made me really think about how I as a manager could support staff to quit smoking.

From Care Assistants:

As a team of staff we encouraged each other to eat healthily and take more exercise, we also substituted our usual afternoon biscuit for a piece of fruit.

From a Support Worker:

With the help and support I got from my colleagues I was finally able to give up smoking.