Councillor backs physio ‘Workout @ Work’ campaign at Kent school

Physiotherapist Nicola Burnett encouraged staff at Valence School in Westerham, Kent, to get active in their lunch break by walking around the school’s site.

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Staff at Valence School in Kent get active in their lunch break

The school, for children with physical disabilities and complex medical needs, is one of the largest employers in the area, with 270 members of staff. Many took part in today’s event despite wet weather.

To encourage staff to register Ms Burnett organised an incentive to win a ‘fitbit’-style activity tracking gadget.

She told Frontline: ‘While our focus is always on the students, it is great to help our colleagues too, as being fit for work means they're here to work with our students.’

Fran Brown, head of health at the school, said: ‘We have been really pleased with the response from staff and it has been a great opportunity for us to remind everyone about the importance of physical activity.’

Politician praises initiative

A leading local politician for the area endorsed the event while she was visiting to see the work of the physiotherapy team, which supports children with disabilities in mainstream schools throughout Kent.

Sevenoaks District Council portfolio lead for health Michelle Lowe said: ‘This is a great initiative that I was very happy to support. The school's staff clearly enjoyed the opportunity to take a fitness walk around the grounds.

‘They do such a fantastic job for the students and it is important that they take time out of their busy working day to also look after their own health. This event served as a reminder to us all to make time for physical exercise, even if it is just during a 15 minute break – it all helps.’

CSP campaigns and regional engagement officer Mindy Daubeny added: ‘As one of the first Workout at Work events in England to involve a local health decision-maker this shows physios the opportunity for W@W to make a difference to their wider communities.’

W@W is part of the CSP’s national campaign to encourage people, whatever their job, to ‘workout at work’ in order to improve health and wellbeing and reduce sickness absence.

Over 220 members across England have registered W@W events.

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by Gary Henson

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