Welcome to the News section for The College Ystrad Mynach.

To stay informed of latest development, subscribe using the subscription tools on the right hand side.

College goes for gold in healthy workplace award scheme

THE College Ystrad Mynach has struck gold in its bid to be a healthy place to work.

The college has earned a gold award in the Welsh Government’s Corporate Health Standard scheme, a national mark of quality for health and well-being in the workplace.

The award recognises the college’s commitment to providing its staff with a healthier place to work at all its centres across Caerphilly County.

The scheme encourages organisations to bring in and develop policies and practices which will benefit their workforce physically, mentally and emotionally.

The College Ystrad Mynach won the scheme’s bronze award last year and then went straight for the gold this year.

To win gold, the college has increased and improved its healthy schemes in and around its many campuses.

But as Anthony Matthews, the college’s human resources project manager, explained, the biggest change has been the extra input from college staff.

He said: “The main thing we have done in going for the gold award is to get more people involved and to try to embed health and well-being into the culture of the organisation.

“More staff are now coming up with ideas and doing things themselves rather than the schemes being led by the management.”

Anthony said staff from throughout the college were now coming forward with ideas to develop health and well-being.

“Staff have set up their own Zumba classes and others have formed a choir,” he said.

A cycle to work scheme has been introduced as well as a chance for staff to buy bicycles at discounted rates.

And more formal health screening is being brought in which will look at blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring for staff.

Anthony, who chairs a steering committee to manage the college’s Corporate Health Standard work, added: “We are trying to encourage a culture of health and well-being.  We are getting ideas from all over the college - business support staff, lecturers and managers have all got different viewpoints and we get different views on what to do.”

For the bronze award, the college introduced a number of healthy food options in the refectory and has since been working hard to offer even more choice on the menu.

Anthony said: “We have improved a lot in what we are doing on the catering side with much more healthy eating, by asking staff and students what they want.”

He added: “We are really pleased to have been awarded the gold standard. Liz James, the chairman of governors, was very supportive of the initiative and was extremely pleased that we have achieved it.”

College Principal Bryn Davies said: “I am delighted that the college has been awarded the gold Corporate Health Standard.  It is wonderful to see the enthusiastic way staff from all over the college have got on board and had real input into the scheme.

“Having a healthy and happy workforce is vital for The College Ystrad Mynach as it will be a huge benefit to both staff and students alike.”

The next level in the scheme is the platinum award which looks at corporate responsibility and sustainable development and is something the college will consider working towards in the coming months.

Posted by Marketing at 10:24

College achieves top health accreditation

Healthy Accreditation

 The College Ystrad Mynach is setting the standard when it comes to being a healthy place to work.

The College has been presented with a bronze award in the Welsh Assembly Government’s Corporate Health Standard scheme,  the quality mark promotinghealth and wellbeing in the workplace.

The award recognises the college’s commitment to providing its staff with a healthier place to work at all its centres across Caerphilly County Borough.

Delivered by Public Health Wales, the scheme encourages organisations to introduce policies and practices which will benefit staff physically, mentally and emotionally.

In order to achieve the accreditation, the college was subject to an intensive assessment which looked at its policies, communication and health and safety.

At The College Ystrad Mynach, healthy schemes which helped the team to secure their award include holding pedometer challenges for staff, a lunchtime walking group and the introduction of cycle to work and car sharing initiatives.

Healthy eating was also a central part of the College’s wellbeing drive, with healthier options introduced to the refectory menu, nutritional advice made available on the intranet and a ‘Fruity Friday’ event held in conjunction with Cancer Research.

Anthony Matthews, the College’s human resources project manager, said work towards the award began 18 months ago when a steering committee was set up.

Under his chairmanship, the committee, whose members included lecturers and business support staff, met on a regular basis to come up with ideas and policies for a portfolio which was scrutinised by an independent assessor.

Mr Matthews said the College, which has centres in Ystrad Mynach, Rhymney, Bargoed, Blackwood, Aber Valley, Caerphilly and Tredomen, previously had a number of healthy schemes running for their staff, but working towards the Corporate Health Standard helped to put them into focus.

“Striving for the Corporate Health Standard gave us a framework to promote healthier living in the college. We had lots of ideas from staff who showed a real enthusiasm and we kept our 550-strong workforce informed of all of the new initiatives we introduced on the college’s intranet.

“Promoting healthy living to staff benefits everyone, as it improves quality of life for employees and we also benefit from reduced absenteeism.

College Principal Bryn Davies said: “The health of our workforce is extremely important to us. Having a healthy and happy workforce is vital for a thriving educational establishment, and has obvious benefits for our students.

“This award is testament to our commitment to healthy living and the hard work of our staff who have really bought into everything we are trying to achieve.

The College is not resting on its laurels and is already planning to bypass the silver award and go for the gold standard in January 2012.

Posted by Marketing at 14:52