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Issue:- 29 May 2014

Nearly half of employees know a colleague who has quit work due to stress

48% of employees in the North West say they know a colleague who has had to quit work due to stress. The research, by Capita Employee Benefits, also reveals that 78% of workers have been stressed at work in the past year.

Findings show employers in the North West are failing to support their stressed workforce as 23% of people, who have personally suffered with stress, say after they addressed the issue with their employer nothing was done.

Based on findings of a survey of people in full time employment in the North West, the research shows 50% feel that their employer has a responsibility to help them manage their personal health and wellbeing.

Alistair Dornan, head of health and risk management at Capita Employee Benefits, commented:- "A shocking 15.2 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2013* and, as these results show, employees clearly feel they're not getting the support they need to be able to deal with stress to the point where people know colleagues who've been forced to quit. Considering the cost of absenteeism, lowered productivity and talent leaving organisations on organisations' bottom lines; it's vital employers start taking stress seriously.  To tackle the growing stress epidemic organisations must encourage an open dialogue about stress with staff. Half the problem with stress is that it can be a silent issue; with people simply taking time off because they can't face work. Employers need to be able to spot stress trends so they can look to create ways of mitigating that stress before it takes hold. Conducting a detailed risk assessment and auditing the health and wellbeing of an entire workforce will help an employer to spot patterns. For example, if once a year a department has higher than average absenteeism rates, then stress could be a contributing factor. Providing targeted health benefits for the whole of workforce such as expanded access to private healthcare, health coaching and even simple personal health awareness events; could help to deal with stress and prevent absenteeism, potentially saving an organisation thousands of pounds in lost days. It may also mean organisations are able to hold on to talented staff who may be tempted to quit."

A report into the findings from the employee insight research was published earlier this month and is available now via Capita Employees Benefits' website.

Asics Southport Seaside 10k supports Galloway's Society for the Blind.

YOU don't need a runner's body, just a fundraisers heart! That is the message from local charity, Galloway's Society for the Blind, based in Southport, who are appealing for runners, joggers and walkers to join team Galloway's at the start line of this years Southport Seaside 10k.

Emma Wilson, Fundraiser at Galloway's, commented:- "This year is the 10th anniversary of the race and we are honoured to be the charity supported at such a popular event. The race course is a flat two laps of the Promenade and Marine Lake, starting and finishing in Princes Park and is suitable for all abilities, there is also a 2k fun run for younger runners or for anyone wishing to try a shorter distance."

Cat Fearnley a local lady who is registered blind with less than 30% vision and visits Galloway's regularly, has signed up to run the 10k race to raise sponsorship for the charity. Cat has completed a number of runs and even a half marathon in the past, using the treadmill in her local gym but due to her sight loss has never felt confident to run outside before.

Cat told the newspaper "This is a huge personal challenge for me and I am excited to give the race ago and raise funds for Galloway's. I am looking for someone to run with to act as a guide to point out any obstacles around the track, if you are interested in running with me please do Emma at Galloway's on:- 01704 809109."

If you are interested in running either the 10k or the 2k fun run for Galloway's or you would like to find out more about either race please contact Emma Wilson via email or phone:- 01704 809109. "Your support means we can continue to provide advice, specialist equipment and activities to local blind and visually impaired people, to help them maintain their independence."

Practice Makes Perfect Free Sign Classes Update

THIS is a quick remind to our readers that if you are near enough to get to Southport, then take note that Practice Makes Perfect are still offering FREE Sign language and communication skills classes. The classes are held every Monday at 6pm to 8pm, at Salvation Army, 61 Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AJ. Children are welcome, but under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Please note that Entrance by the little steps (also disabled access by the graduated pavement area at the front of the church and follow the pathway on the right.) Also on Friday's from 1.30pm to 3pm. They will be based at The New Salvation Army Community church, in the Blue Room. If you want to attuned please contact Maureen Doyle on:- 01704 546626 text/mobile 07960984306. Also please note that they are Children's University approved.. Children welcome with parents/guardian through the summer holidays, but they are closed on Bank Holidays.

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