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Gentoo Group scoops national award for its employee wellbeing support services

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Gentoo Group scoops national award for its employee wellbeing support services


Published by LauraMcKinlay for Gentoo Group in Communities and also in Health

BITC Awards BITC Awards

Social business Gentoo Group has been announced as the winner of the Bupa Workwell Engagement and Wellbeing Award at the recent Responsible Business Awards in London. The award recognises businesses that are improving the wellness and engagement of their employees.

Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) Responsible Business Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of companies tackling key social and environmental issues. The winning companies across 13 categories each demonstrate that making a positive difference in society can also be a key driver for business performance.

Gentoo Group works with 42 partner organisations to embed health and wellbeing into business practices. The company’s wellbeing programme, Happy, Healthy and Here, saw physical and mental health services offered to staff. 89% of employees subsequently felt that they were more informed about the importance of their health and wellbeing as a result. The programme also saw employee volunteers donate more than 2,400 hours to community projects and over £37,000 to charities. 130 fewer sickness days were recorded in 2013 than in 2012, coupled with fewer accident rates.

Peter Walls, Group Chief Executive, Gentoo Group said: “Our workforce is our biggest and most important asset, so it’s vital we invest our time and effort to safeguard wellbeing. This goes on to significantly benefit our customers. We aim to engage everyone across our business, regardless of roles or titles to enjoy activities and events relating to health which can be shared at home with family and friends.

“These benefits have a far reaching impact into the wider community, increasing the influence of the programme. I am immensely proud of Happy, Healthy and Here. It has created momentum for those with common goals, generating positive change and improving the Art of Living.“

Commenting on the win, Patrick Watt, Corporate Director, Bupa UK, who chaired the judging panel, said: “It was hugely inspiring. A fantastic example of how CEO engagement and passion can drive amazing impact on health and wellbeing for employees and the communities in which they work.“

The 2014 Responsible Business Award winners were selected from a group of over 150 leading companies recognised by Business in the Community for demonstrating commitment and achievement in responsible business. Collectively, these businesses have supported over 400,000 young people to find employment, saving society £24.6m through reducing the impact of unemployment or exclusion. Cost savings of approximately £10m have been linked to these organisations through wellbeing and engagement programmes. Furthermore, 80% of companies that have embedded environmental sustainability into their core products and services are seeing improved public and stakeholder perceptions as a result.

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community, said: “Responsible Business Award winners have demonstrated innovation to drive positive change in our communities and as a result have seen clear benefits in terms of business growth, customer engagement or staff wellbeing. I congratulate Bupa for playing their part to build a new contract between business and society and a more sustainable future for us all.“

The event took place at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in front of 1,400 representatives from leading companies in the presence of BITC’s president HRH The Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales was accompanied by his sons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, in recognition of work being done by responsible businesses to create employment opportunities for ex-service personnel.

Peter Walls has also recently received the prestigious Prince’s Ambassador Award recognising his in-depth understanding of social issues, particularly in disadvantaged and economically challenged communities.  The Prince’s Ambassador Award is one of Business in the Community’s (BITC) Awards for Excellence and recognises the powerful contribution made by individual business leaders to improve the communities in which they live and work through responsible business.  The Ambassador in each part of the UK is tasked with working closely with BITC and its members to champion responsible business best practice.

Ambassadors are chosen not only for their inspiring personal impact, but also for demonstrating leadership which has both transformed their own business and inspired other organisations to take action.  Peter was chosen as North East Ambassador for HRH The Prince of Wales’ for his leadership and commitment to responsible business.

Gentoo Group’s whole ethos is about believing nothing is impossible and finding new ways to challenge conventions, Gentoo aims to make society a better place to live and to make a real difference to the way people live their life. To find out more about Gentoo, visit for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.

For full details of all the inspiring 2014 Responsible Business Award stories please visit


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