UK Power Networks enlists Olympic kayaker to promote staff wellbeing

UK power networks hemmings

Electricity provider UK Power Networks has launched a series of events aimed at energising employees and boosting wellbeing, with the help of two-time Olympian and six-time world champion, Anna Hemmings.

The organisation, which has 6,200 employees across London, the South East and East of England, held the first event in its Crawley office on the afternoon of 29 October 2019. Five more are planned in November 2019 across the employer’s locations in Maidstone, London, Potters Bar, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.

The series of sessions are being led by Hemmings, who runs training consultancy Beyond the Barriers, and form part of UK Power Networks’ health and wellbeing programme, Your Energy.

The events focus on helping employees maximise their energy levels, reminding them of the importance of good health and wellbeing. The Crawley workshop looked at how exercise and movement can improve energy levels, combat stress and fatigue, increase concentration levels,  and help employees cope with daily pressures.

Your Energy is an awareness, education and engagement programme, created alongside Olympic athletes, nutritionists and sleep doctors, and fits with UK Power Networks’ aim to be an employer of choice, building on its approach to health and safety and physical wellbeing with increased support for mental wellness.

To this end, the organisation has also trained more than 100 mental health first aiders in 2019.

Dawn McDonald, health and wellbeing manager at UK Power Networks, said: “As part of our vision to be an employer of choice, we encourage staff to work together and look to improve their own health and wellbeing as well as looking out for colleagues.

“It was fantastic to draw on Anna’s experience of top-level sport. Massive pressure comes with competing at the Olympics and World Championships, and it’s hugely beneficial for our staff to learn how keeping energy levels high can help not only manage the pressures and improve productivity at work, but also support how they spend their quality time at home.

“We want to ensure our employees can work safely and efficiently, providing a platform to improve resilience, reduce the risk of stress and increase peoples’ capacity to cope with life’s challenges.”

Hemmings added: “Exercise gives us the feel-good factor, but most of us are not exercising enough. Today’s session on energy capacity was about building bite-sized chunks of exercise and movement into people’s lives so they can get the benefit of exercise.

“Energy begets energy, so the more energy we use the more we will produce. Movement is our greatest stimulus for energy and it will also boost our cognitive function, improve our mental health and sleep.”