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Charity receives prized wellbeing employer award

CEO Emma Ratzer MBE receiving the award from Best Companies Host and BBC Journalist Dan Walker

This week Lowestoft-based charity Access Community Trust received welcomed news after scooping a number of highly-prized accreditations.

Each year thousands of organisations across the UK are judged against an all-encompassing 8-factor model to assess how employers support their workforce to develop and maintain staff wellbeing and engagement.

With Covid-19 adversely affecting many employees’ mental health across the country, Access Community Trust has used the pandemic as a catalyst to enhance its internal support offering to staff and has subsequently been awarded the title of the 2nd best charity to work for in the UK, only being pipped to the post by the East Anglian Air Ambulance service.

Over the last year the non-profit has introduced a number of additional support services for its workforce of over 160 people, including free 24 hour access to wellbeing specialists, physiotherapists and GP’s whilst implementing flexible working practices. In addition to this, the charity’s CEO made the decision to open up these supportive services to employee family members and provide daily meals and care assistance to team members that were required to self-isolate due to remaining on the front line.

Alongside being named as a top employer, the charity was also recognised with a special recognition wellbeing award, which was presented by Best Companies host and BBC journalist Dan Walker in a live television event from Manchester’s Media City.

Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO of Access Community Trust, explains what this award means to the charity and it’s team going forward: “This recognition is remarkable. Our team has been challenged continually over the past year, taking pride in their work, while adapting to the many obstacles thrown their way. It is a testament to how brilliant they all are. I think it is important to see that we are not just excelling in the support services we offer to our clients, but we are championing our internal company culture, support and engagement amongst our workforce.

Our charity’s mission is to support many vulnerable individuals and communities that are socially isolated due to a number of complex reasons and to do this requires a compassionate and invested team. By ensuring we support our staff as much as possible means they can focus with ease on the role they play in supporting others’ lives.”

Following the announcement Jonathan Austin, Founder and CEO of Best Companies remarked: “Access Community Trust should be very proud of their achievement, demonstrating ‘world class’ levels of engagement. This accreditation is recognition of all they have done to be a best company to work for, and always putting their people first.”

The trust has recently completed its Easter holidays campaign, which saw over 21,000 children and their households supported across Norfolk and Suffolk, through it’s ‘PINK orange’ meal kits project, by providing nearing 200 tonnes of ingredients to assist with the cooking of around 500,000 wholesome meals.

Later this month, the organisation is set to transform two vacant high street shops in Gorleston and Kings Lynn into walk in mental health cafes, which will offer crisis support to anyone locally that needs assistance. Called STEAM House, the welcoming cafés will open 7 days a week, until late into the evening.

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