MENTAL health problems are estimated to cost the Scottish economy approximately £8 billion each year (Mental Health Foundation, 2022). Realising the growing pressure on local workforces Dundee & Angus College are partnering up with Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce to encourage members to get active in order to help boost their mental and physical wellbeing.
Workplace initiatives are key to reducing incidence of outcomes such as sickness related absence and reduced productivity, with the suggestion that businesses can see an average of £5 positive return on investment for every £1 invested in mental health in the workplace (Deloitte, 2020); however, this may not be easily achievable for small to medium businesses.
Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce and Dundee and Angus College have recognised this and acknowledge that such opportunities should be available to all businesses, regardless of their size. For that reason, they have joined forces to introduce a joint initiative which will benefit the health and wellbeing of workers across Dundee and Angus.
Their new partner membership will give members of the Chamber, and their employees, an exclusive opportunity to enjoy the state-of-the-art leisure and fitness facilities at the college’s Gardyne Sports Centre at a reduced rate.
It is widely known that physical activity is essential for good health and that it can help to improve sleep, reduce stress and improve a person’s quality of life – it can also reduce the risk of back pain and musculoskeletal concerns, one of the most common causes of sickness absence in Scotland.
Despite these benefits, 1 in 3 Scottish adults do not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines (Scottish Government, 2020) which in turn can affect businesses, with smaller businesses often feeling it the most.
The collaboration is a way for both organisations to increase the support already provided to local businesses, by creating an opportunity for business owners to demonstrate that their employees’ health and wellbeing is at the core of their business.
Alison Henderson, CEO at Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’re delighted to be able to add this brilliant offer to our wide range of membership services and give more than 700 local businesses access to these amazing facilities. Businesses know that investing in a good range of benefits helps their staff to be healthier, happier and have a positive work/life balance.”
“People want to work for organisations that value their staff and it’s great that these facilities offer so many different ways for people to invest in their wellbeing.”
With a state-of-the-art fitness suite, a range of fitness classes and a 25m swimming pool, Gardyne Sports Centre has plenty to offer members and this offering is the latest move to highlight the high calibre of facilities on offer at Dundee and Angus College, following on from Dundee Football Club’s recent move to the Gardyne Campus. The sports centre is part of the Sport and Fitness department within the college, and their aim is to provide an opportunity for everyone to become more physically active, and the partner membership with the Chamber is a way to extend this to the wider community.
Darren Foy, Gardyne Sports Centre Manager, said: “Now more than ever, health and wellbeing is something that should be prioritised by everyone, and we are delighted to partner up with the Chamber to encourage their members to do just this. Initiatives such as these are a key way for businesses to appeal to potential employees, in addition to looking after their existing workforce.”
As the leading training provider in the area, the partnership with Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce is the latest in the college’s provision of support for local businesses and is a further sign of their commitment to helping local businesses to grow and reach their full potential.
Existing members of the Chamber who would like to take advantage of the partner membership, or those who wish to explore the benefits of becoming a member, should contact the Chamber directly for more information.