Paul Winter: Blending the pledge with day-to-day health at Ipswich Building Society

We signed up to the Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD) in 2013, recognising that it would provide structure for our health and wellbeing strategy, as well as give us access to other organisations’ help and inspiration.


We signed up to five pledges, which have become the cornerstones of our healthcare.

Some practical examples of this include the mental health and wellbeing pledge, through which we actively encourage lunch breaks and ‘desk breaks’ so employees can take time out to charge their batteries.

We created a quiet room for those wishing to relax, and we introduced lunchtime activities and walking clubs. All staff have also received desk-side yoga sessions; simple moves they can do to help with back health and remaining supple.

Ipswich Building Society also signed up to the chronic conditions and carers pledge, through which we have a flexible-working policy that enables employees to work from home or amend their hours, along with the smoking cessation/respiratory health pledge, occupational health standards pledge and the health and wellbeing report pledge.

In addition to these activities, the PHRD requires consistent and timely updates to track the progress of your health and wellbeing strategy. We also receive updates from other organisations and this sharing of initiatives and experiences is invaluable, especially for smaller organisations such as Ipswich Building Society.

The PHRD has formed a significant part of ensuring that our employees are healthy, happy, motivated and proud to work for Ipswich Building Society.

Paul Winter is chief executive officer of Ipswich Building Society