Hightown Housing Association has opened a staff gym at its Hemel Hempstead HQ to encourage staff to develop a healthy work/life balance and improve their wellbeing.

The charitable organisation, based in Maylands Avenue, marked the gym’s opening with a special event attended by Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Chair of Hertfordshire’s Health & Wellbeing Board and Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care. Colette Wyatt-Lowe is also a Dacorum Borough Councillor for Woodhall Farm and County Councillor for Hemel Hempstead North East.

Activities at the opening event on 15th June included a ‘Hightown Gladiator Contest’ to help find the fittest member of staff. The winners, who won a month’s delivery of healthy snacks for their team, had the fastest combined ‘triathlon’ time – running, cycling and ‘swimming’ - on the cross trainer.

A member of each department took part in the challenge, including Hightown Chief Executive David Bogle. Other activities included table tennis, table football, a hula hoop challenge and a competition to guess the ingredients of a healthy smoothie.

The staff gym is free for employees to use before or after work, or in their lunch break. It is part of encouraging them to follow the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe gave a speech on the importance of exercise in having a healthy work/life balance. “It’s fantastic that Hightown is providing their staff with this new facility,” she said.

“Exercising is great for your physical and mental health as well as your wellbeing, which can also improve your performance at work and quality of life. Congratulations to everyone who took part in the challenge. It was great to see such enthusiasm!”

Hightown Chief Executive David Bogle commented: “Our new staff gym is all part of our plan to promote the five ways to wellbeing to our staff and encourage a healthy work/life balance. It’s important we all look after our health and I hope the new gym will make it that much easier for our staff to do so.”

The new gym is just one of the benefits of working for Hightown. You can find out more about working for us and our current vacancies at www.hightownha.org.uk/careers