23 April 2015

Wellness day for charity a great success

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An innovative Dunedin-based company hosted a wellness day for its staff last week as part of a company fundraiser for the Child Cancer Foundation.

Engineering design and manufacturing company Milmeq, which delivers specialist equipment for the primary food processing industry, halted production on Friday in order to take a holistic look at staff wellness, from health to finance.

The day saw Milmeq’s 75 Dunedin staff enjoy a fully-funded schedule of flu vaccinations and medical checks, information from medical insurance and financial experts, breath-testing demonstrations, road safety tips from the police and even alcohol-free wine tasting. Staff also received goodie bags filled with health foods, brochures and vouchers.

This was the first time the company had implemented such an initiative and CEO Mike Lightfoot said it was designed to give back to his staff following a successful 12 months with the bonus of raising money for a worthy charity.

“We have always had the ethos that it is people that make the business, so being a responsible employer and investing in our people is part of who we are,” Mr Lightfoot said.

Milmeq’s Auckland office, with about 40 staff, participated in a similar schedule yesterday. Across both offices prizes donated by staff and local businesses were raffled to raise donations, which in turn was matched again by Milmeq. With Dunedin and Auckland staff raising $1500 combined, this saw a total of $3000 raised for the Child Cancer Foundation.

“Things like this bring everyone together, across Milmeq and our communities we were all working towards the same outcome. It’s been a joint effort and everyone has made a difference,” Mr Lightfoot said.

The wellness day was concluded with staff dinner and drinks at a local Dunedin bar, complete with company funded taxi chits for all.

Mr Lightfoot admits that halting production and hosting such an event is a significant but worthwhile investment and looks forward to doing something similar again next year.

“Along with raising money for charity, the aim of the day was to equip our employees with knowledge about what’s available to them and to ensure they are aware of their choices across all areas of wellness, both for them and their families, and you can’t really put a price on that,” he said.

Child Cancer Foundation Business Development Manager Elaine Horn said the organisation is “incredibly grateful” for the donation from Milmeq, which will go directly towards supporting families within the local community.

“We aim to build resilience in families and assist them through the many logistical, financial, emotional and social challenges they will experience along their cancer journey. Currently we are providing practical support for 15 families in the Otago Southland region and ongoing support for approximately 35 families, so support such as this makes a very real difference and we truly appreciate Milmeq thinking of us and the generosity of the company and their staff,” she said.