Diabetes: Empowering employees through awareness
Successful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies depend on building meaningful relationships with all stakeholders, and Sigma is seeing the direct and indirect benefits of CSR initiatives on employee wellbeing, says Stephen Woolf, Group Compliance Director.
At Sigma, we recognise and value our colleagues, which is why we prioritise their health, safety, and wellbeing. Over the past few months, we have launched several initiatives to offer colleagues information and support on various topics related to their physical and mental wellbeing.
One particular focus area has been to increase awareness and promote the exchange of high-quality information about diabetes, which is the fastest-growing health threat facing the UK.
Diabetes is often called the ‘silent killer’ and according to the Diabetes Safety Organisation, 4.6 million people in the country have the condition, with a staggering 700 people diagnosed each day. Globally, one in every eleven people has diabetes, a figure that is projected to rise to one in nine by 2045 if action is not taken.
To raise awareness of this growing health threat, Sigma has partnered with the Diabetes Safety Organisation. We marked World Diabetes Day on 14th November in 2022 by signing the Tackling Diabetes Safety Charter. As a signatory, we are committed to increasing our colleagues’ understanding of diabetes, supporting those living with it, and removing any stigma around the condition.
Sigma believes improved knowledge and diabetes education can benefit everyone, not just those living with the condition. We have commenced with implementing various policies, risk assessments and providing tools, including installing hypo boxes on our sites. Adding the hypo boxes together with hypo gel packs to our first aid kits, alongside our defibrillators, and providing training to our First Aiders, in their use, will provide additional peace of mind
We also recently hosted a diabetes webinar, with the support of Kate Walker, of the Diabetes Safety Organisation, to raise awareness of the key symptoms and triggers. Our colleagues found the session, informative and some great questions were raised. Following the get together, two colleagues have now visited their GPs to discuss identification and steps on tackling potential type 2 diabetes.
All this work is a vital first step in starting the conversation around diabetes and supported our “One Less Campaign” in January, with information posted around our sites and on our colleagues’ computer screens.
We believe open and honest communication on topics such as diabetes is essential for improving the health, safety, and wellbeing of our colleagues. Eradicating any stigma and discrimination attached to the disease, while understanding how people affected are coping, in turn introducing tailored initiatives, as well as measures which everyone can benefit from, are essential.
Of course, we are not alone in our efforts to create greater awareness and education around diabetes. Various organisations we partner with, such as the British Safety Council, which is dedicated to making sure no-one is injured or made unwell through their work, and The Lighthouse Club, the only charity that provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families, have also pledged to support the Diabetes Safety Organisation in driving diabetes awareness.
At Sigma, we work on the principle that happy and healthy colleagues result in satisfied customers, which can in turn create thriving communities. These are some of the many reasons why we strive to offer our colleagues meaningful and authentic CSR initiatives.
We want to promote a healthy, safe, and positive workplace environment, to support our team’s physical and mental wellbeing, as well as to help them fulfil their individual goals. As such, we offer a variety of colleague wellbeing programmes and events.
By holistically empowering our colleagues to be the best and healthiest version of themselves, we hopefully allow them, and consequently our business, to thrive.
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