Health and wellbeing was at the centre of week-long event at Asda House, culminating in the opening of the Wellness Hub – a safe space solely for colleague use.

Colleagues from across the business, known as Wellness Ambassadors, arranged a number of events and activities to raise awareness of health, with a focus on mental health, in the workplace.

Fresh fruit was handed out each morning and colleagues were able to take part in a range of sessions including fitness classes, yoga, Zumba and meditation, and a fun walk/run around the building was hosted on Wednesday lunchtime.

Free health and osteoporosis screenings were available throughout the week and a number of charities and organisations visited Asda House to offer advice and support on a range of issues on wellbeing.

The week also marked the opening of the Wellness Hub, a permanent structure within the head office dedicated to health and wellbeing of colleagues. This safe space, which overlooks the River Aire, is an area that all colleagues can use if they need some breathing space. There are also two private consultation rooms.

The Hub will also act as a reference point for colleagues and managers with advice and guidance on a variety of circumstances. The Wellness Ambassadors have used their own experiences to create The Hub and ensure it can provide any colleague the support they need. There will be information available about different organisations and the support that is available out within Asda.

Damian Kitson, Senior Manager and Chair of the Disability and Mental Health Steering group, at Asda, said: “At Asda, colleague Wellness is all our concern and responsibility and this week has been a great opportunity to raise awareness about ways we can improve our physical and mental health and what support there is out there.

“This is the first Wellness Week we have hosted and it’s been a great success. The colleagues have been really engaged which has given the Wellness Ambassadors a huge boost. We now need to continue to share these important messages around our business and into our stores and depots, focusing on the next part of our journey.”

Wellness Week was arranged by 15 Wellness Ambassadors, who are part of the Diversity and Inclusion work streams. Aiming to break the stigma around talking about mental health, the team have the full support of the business, which fully believes in caring for its colleagues.
Damian said: “The culture at Asda is unique, it’s often described as a family and as a family we support each other both professionally and personally. We know that one in four of our colleagues face mental health issues each year and we want to ensure they know what help is available – no one should suffer in silence.

“The Hub has been in the planning for some time and we are thrilled that it is now open. Above all it needs to engage, educate and embed a positive attitude to wellness across Asda. This is just the first stage in our journey – we want this to be the catalyst to continue to drive change across the organisation on wellness and support.”
Wellness Week has also received praise by a number of third parties organisations.

Laura Haigh, from Tommy’s, the pregnancy information and research charity, said: “Mental health problems during pregnancy, and before and after birth, are not uncommon, with depression and anxiety affecting as many as 1 in 15 women.

“At Tommy’s, we believe mental health in pregnancy is just important as your physical health and that’s why we’re fully behind Asda’s Wellness Week initiative, supporting employees in the workplace.”

Jayne James, Branch Director at The Samaritans, said: “It’s wonderful that a large company like Asda are committed to breaking the stigma, bringing mental health out of the shadows and supporting their colleagues. Wellness Week is a fantastic and inclusive way of doing this, as well as raising awareness of the support that colleagues can access, both within Asda and through external organisations.”

Ends

Notes to editors:
About Asda Stores Ltd.
Founded in the 1960s in Yorkshire, Asda is one of Britain’s leading retailers. It has more than 170,000 dedicated Asda colleagues serving customers from 621 stores, including 33 Supercentres, 336 Superstores, 34 Asda Living stores, 204 Supermarkets, 26 depots and seven recycling centres across the UK. Its main office is in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division is in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. More than 18 million people shop at Asda stores every week and 98 per cent of UK homes are served by www.ASDA.com. Asda joined Walmart, the world’s number one retailer, in 1999.