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How can we help our small employers to ‘keep thriving’?

Safe and Sound CEO Tracy Harrison (right) and Business Support Officer Alex Dey (centre) receiving their Keep Thriving funding award from British Safety Council's Wellbeing Services Manager Jo Saines (left)

Stephen Cooke, Head of Policy and Communications

Stephen Cooke, Head of Policy and Communications | British Safety Council

2 min read Partner content

The British Safety Council's Keep Thriving campaign is supporting SMEs to deliver better workplace wellbeing across the country.

As a charity, our mission is that no one should be injured or made ill through their work. To deliver on this, we train, advise, and recognise achievements of leaders and managers across all kinds of organisations and sectors, both here and around the world.

Last year, British Safety Council launched its Keep Thriving campaign to support and encourage better workplace wellbeing across the UK. And we know that times are tough, not just for individuals and their families. The rising cost of living means smaller organisations, and especially charities, are finding it harder to keep afloat – let alone ensure their teams are happy, healthy, and operating to their best ability.

Which is why, in November 2022, we went a step further and started offering free training to help promote and support workplace wellbeing among micro, small and medium-sized organisations.

The offer comprised a free 3-hour workshop for organisations with under 500 staff, funded by Keep Thriving and delivered by experts from our Being Well Together programme, focused on helping them to develop a wellbeing strategy.

We know smaller organisations often lack the resources that larger ones enjoy in terms of HR or health, safety and wellbeing support. Most businesses in the UK employ fewer than 10 people, even if micros only account for 21% of employment. But SMEs as a whole employ 61% of people in the UK.

So, we were very pleased with the level of interest, and received well over 200 applications from SMEs to attend. We offered 199 places on 20 workshops and in five months delivered training to 123 small employers.

Six months after attending, all our participants were invited on a rolling basis to apply to receive up to £10,000 in funding to help them implement their wellbeing strategy.

We were delighted that Derby-based charity Safe and Sound was our first recipient and look forward to following their progress. Their work is challenging, specialist and the charity supports children and their families facing all kinds of exploitation. We felt their application was imaginative, innovative and strong on evaluation.

We plan to make four further awards over the coming months and will also be holding further workshops, this time face to face around the country, later in the autumn. So, please do look out for them.

For more on the Keep Thriving campaign, and to sign up and support, please click here.

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