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Free Charity Programme Helps AC Hotel Service a Healthier, Happier, and More Productive Workplace

14 Apr 2023
AC Hotel 2

Titanic Quarter based AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast are reaping the rewards of the free Work Well Live Well programme, delivered by Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS) and funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA), which is available to local businesses aiming to improve workplace health and wellbeing.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in seismic changes to both the way that work is carried out in many industries, and to the state of the job market. With many organisations experiencing difficulty attracting and maintaining staff due to changes in employee expectations, business owners have been seeking new ways to step up to address these issues. AC Hotel have found the Work Well Live programme has supported them to scale these hurdles.

Hayley Loughrey, Human Resources Manager at AC Hotel, says, “Work Well Live Well has created a greater sense of community within our teams. We are more engaged as we work towards a common goal to improve our health and wellbeing actions and help others to achieve their goals. It is a great feeling to know you are striving to improve and embedding this initiative into our culture.”

“We signed up to the Work Well Live Well Programme to encourage better health and wellbeing choices within the hotel and to our team. I was familiar with the programme from a previous role, so I was already aware of the benefits, and I was incredibly keen to offer this at the AC Hotel so that we could gain an insight into our team’s health priorities through the workplace health survey provided through the programme and start signposting staff to information and healthier choices.”

Work Well Live Well is a free workplace health and wellbeing support programme delivered by Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS) and funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA). The aim of Work Well Live Well is to help local workplaces to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees through personalised support. As part of the programme, NICHS support organisations with carrying out a health and wellbeing survey, developing a bespoke, 3-year action plan for their team as well as providing access to training, webinars, resources, and networking opportunities.

Hayley continues, “The NICHS team have supported us with surveying the wellness needs in our business and providing Health Champion and Mental Health First Aider Training for staff. We had a health and wellbeing committee before the programme; however, Work Well Live Well has provided us with some incredibly beneficial tools and resources to create an action plan around the topics tailored to our team.”

Hayley says, “We are in the early stages of our action plan, but so far this year, we have delivered a monthly health focus which has been well received. In January, we focused on creating new habits. We found out a lot of team members often skipped breakfast so to counteract that we now offer a healthy breakfast in our staff canteen. February encouraged movement and we had great success with our Fresh Air Fridays. We also have a Wellness Day coming up for in March, focusing on nutrition and sleep, with health checks available for staff.”

“People spend the majority of their time at work so by offering this in the work place it will improve the ability of staff to take steps to improve their health and wellbeing by signposting to an array of topics which staff may not have had access to previously.”

To other businesses considering signing up, Hayley says, “I would say do it! The team involvement has been incredible, even at these early stages. I have found that many people within our team are passionate about health and wellbeing and want to help and support. It’s a great opportunity to improve engagement and involvement.”

“It’s excellent that you receive an action plan that is tailored to your workplace. It details the priorities of your team, as opposed to a tick box of health and wellbeing offerings. I believe this initiative shows a genuine commitment to your organisation’s wellbeing and I am delighted to be able to champion health within our team.”

Emma McCrudden, Work Well Live Well Programme Manager at Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke says; “We are your local charity leading the fight against chest, heart and stroke illnesses. We recognise that the workplace is a priority setting for influencing the physical and mental wellbeing of employees and delivering the PHA funded Work Well Live Well programme is just one way that we are working to promote good health in workplaces across Northern Ireland to prevent serious illness in the long term.”

“AC Hotel is a great example of a workplace which wanted to make a positive change and put staff health first. The initiatives put in place by AC Hotel have been a great success and have made a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the team. We are now recruiting new workplaces to take part in the programme and would encourage organisations of all types and sizes to get in touch to find out how Work Well Live Well can help them.”

For more information and to register for Work Well Live Well, visit