DSC_0120Staff at Hurst Plastics have been brimming with health thanks to a major programme, which aims to improve wellbeing in the workplace and reduce the risk of heart disease in Hull.

Set up by the British Heart Foundation in partnership with NHS Hull and Hull City Council, the £1.5 million Hearty Lives Hull campaign, is tasked with improving the health and life expectancy of workers in Hull – an area with higher than average rates of heart disease and other serious illnesses.

Hurst Plastics was one of 135 companies in the region to join the programme, which was delivered by Hull-based healthcare specialist ABL Health. The enthusiastic staff were provided with free health checks, exercise classes and nutritional clinics as well as sessions to help them quit smoking. They even took part in the Hull Corporate Badminton Tournament, which inspired a number of staff to take up the sport.

Julie Rhodes, customer liaison and administration manager at Hurst Plastics, was one of six people who successfully gave up smoking. She said: “I had wanted to give up smoking for a while but needed an incentive to do it. The sessions were fantastic and I am delighted to now be a non-smoker! Being able to access all the sessions at once has inspired me to change my lifestyle for the better. I eat better, I’ve lost weight, I’ve joined a gym and I feel so much healthier for it.”

Darren Glew, operations director at Hurst, added: “As an employer in an area with higher rates of heart disease, we were very keen to support our staff and help them achieve healthier lifestyles. Everyone who took part in the programme found it really worthwhile and staff morale has noticeably improved. And by leading healthier lives, we hope that our team will be happier and more active in their spare time and healthier and more productive in the workplace.”

Hurst’s receptionist Lynn Dennison enjoyed the sessions on food and diet. She said: “The programme was excellent. Everything was carried out at our offices so it made it really easy for people to join in. I got a great deal out of the healthy eating sessions and have tried out lots of new healthy recipes.”

Victoria Sharpley, project manager at ABL, managed the programme for Hurst. She revealed: “The initial test results on the Hurst team were encouraging. Staff have lower BMI and blood pressure measurements than the Hull average. They also complete more exercise and have lower stress levels. However, the percentage of staff achieving their ‘5 a Day’ was below average. Both the company and staff were really enthusiastic about this project and I am confident that many of them have picked up some valuable techniques to help them lead happier, healthier and longer lives.”

Hurst Plastics is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of high quality PVC-U door panels, infill panels, composite doors and associated laminated products. Products are manufactured at Hurst’s 50,000 square foot purpose built factory in Kingston-upon-Hull and supplied to both the domestic and commercial markets throughout the UK and Europe. Hurst Plastics is a member of the Hurst Group, which was established 40 years ago. With expertise in joinery, building services, ceilings and flooring, the Group is recognised as a major force in the contracting and glazing industries.