Having joined Westfield Health’s executive management team to take responsibility for driving our health and wellbeing strategy, I was incredibly proud and excited to be involved in the launch of our new partnership with the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC).
We were delighted to welcome Jane Ellison MP to the signing ceremony at Olympic Legacy Park (OLP), and it was great to see that she shared my enthusiasm for the project.
Our partnership is a significant step towards our goal of becoming a health and wellbeing champion. Westfield Health’s whole ethos back in 1919 was to provide the people of Sheffield with access to healthcare. Likewise, the aim of the AWRC is to improve the wellbeing of the population by creating ‘innovations that help people move’, so the synergy and relevance of this pioneering initiative made total sense for us.
Our ethos hasn’t changed in nearly a century, but our focus has shifted to the wider population and we’re now the market leader in terms of providing health and wellbeing solutions in the workplace*.
By supporting this venture, we’ll be helping people to take charge of their health and wellbeing, while reducing some of the dependency on the NHS – at a time when the need to ease demand on the service has never been greater.
We all know the benefits of exercise and physical activity in terms of preventing some of the biggest health risks we face, such as obesity and diabetes. Yet, behaviourally, it’s difficult to change our sedentary habits.
That’s why the outcomes of this initiative are so important – the research, the technology, the innovation and, more importantly, the behavioural changes it will instigate, will benefit the wider population.
And the exciting thing is, once we know what works, we can take it nationally and even globally.
Sheffield has a fantastic opportunity to take a leading role in driving the health and wellbeing agenda and in many ways is already doing so. It’s fantastic to be collaborating in our home city with Sheffield Hallam University, along with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield City Council – all of which are longstanding customers of Westfield Health – to develop this leadership role. The objective of creating innovative new ways to help deliver positive results through the AWRC is motivating to say the least.
It’s a tremendous local initiative – one which will enable the whole community to engage in physical exercise and benefit from top class facilities and cutting edge technology, in order to ultimately improve their overall health and wellbeing.
But it goes further than that. The new innovations created at the AWRC will support people across the country and further afield, and this partnership is an opportunity for us to improve health outcomes for a much wider population.
I’m really looking forward to working closely with the team at the AWRC to help the centre achieve its full potential as the most advanced research and development centre for health and physical activity in the world.
Through our contribution, we can connect the AWRC with the community and support the research team through some of the key steps in the development of new technology and innovations, while continuing to help our own employees, customers and community to improve their health and wellbeing.
David Capper is our Commercial Director.
* Leading provider of corporate paid health cash plans (Laing & Buisson 2015)