Earlier this year Bupa Australia partnered with Kids Helpline to sponsor the Kids Helpline @ School Wellbeing programme which encourages children to seek support when they are facing issues such as mental health and bullying.
The early intervention and prevention education programme covers a range of topics, and is being delivered in primary schools across the country by professional Kids Helpline counsellors.
In the first six months of the partnership from 1 January to 30 June, the programme has been rolled out to 90 primary schools, reaching more than 6,600 children. For me, this is one of the highlights as I reflect on the first half of the year.
At Bupa, we pride ourselves on making a positive impact on the communities in which we operate around the world, on our customers and employees, and the environment, as part of our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) agenda. And as we move into the second half of the year I feel there are many more projects like this to be proud of. To highlight some of these I would like to share what those who have taken part or benefited from some of Bupa’s projects have to say.
Firstly, I’d like to introduce you to Natasha Ward who is an intern at Bupa Australia. She joined through the CareerTrackers programme which Bupa Australia supports as part of its work to improve employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
She says: “Working at Bupa through CareerTrackers has given me the confidence to become a voice for Indigenous people, both within the corporate world and even at a national level - speaking on issues affecting Indigenous people in front of community leaders, CEOs and even former Prime Ministers of Australia. All I hope is that I can inspire people around me to achieve bigger and better things, allowing an even stronger generation to follow us.”
We have also made strides in promoting diversity and inclusion in our UK business. Only last month, we signed the UK HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter – a pledge that underlines our commitment to gender balance. While our employee network DiverCity, which was started to raise awareness and understanding about a range of topics from LGBT+ to disability, is taking steps to increase its profile.
Bupa UK’s Angela kay, who spearhead the DiverCity movement, says: “My proudest moment this year has to be to stand with my colleagues at Pride events and celebrate everyone’s uniqueness. To have sponsored Coventry Pride, a local grass roots Pride event, through to attending larger Pride events including London, Brighton and Manchester, I have been proud to say I work for Bupa and as part of Bupa DiverCity, we are committed to actively demonstrating our inclusivity.
“2018 – 2019 will see DiverCity hubs across Bupa reaching out to everyone no matter where they are or what area of the business they work for.”
We thrive also to promote health and wellbeing beyond our customer base. A project that is close to my heart is the Healthy Cities initiative pushed out by Bupa Chile and Sanitas in Spain. In Madrid, more than 40 companies with over 150,000 employees, and in Chile 33,000 people, have participated in our health and physical activity movement, which also raises awareness to create healthier cities and other urban environments.
Roberto Puértolas, Compensation and Benefits Director for Spain, Portugal and Israel at GSK, says: “Healthy Cities could not fit better with what we want to do and what we are concerned about.”
Similarly, an initiative by our Torrejón Hospital in Spain, attracts more than 2,000 people every other Sunday between October and June, who come together to walk and take part in workshops which encourage healthier lifestyles.
Isabel Román, a participant in Camino de Cervantes, says: “I have walked all the 18 routes in the last two years, it allows me to practice some sport while I meet my friends and we spend time together.”
Hearing first-hand from people about our activity is fantastic. However, our journey doesn’t stop there. Throughout the second half of the year we will continue to progress our CRS agenda with a particular focus on the Bupa Foundations around the world and making a positive impact on the environment.