With the colder weather here to stay and the arrival of new strains of Covid-19, emergency services teams are feeling the pressure now more than ever. This January, four charities have teamed up with UK emergency service discount provider Blue Light Card and wellbeing organization Get Active to support frontline staff and help boost morale with the launch of a special fitness and wellness challenge – just in time for Blue Monday.
Singled out as the most depressing day of the year, this year Blue Monday falls on 18 January. To coincide with that, Blue Light Card, Get Active, The Fire Fighters Charity, The Air Ambulance Service, The Ambulance Staff Charity and Police Care UK have joined forces to help raise spirits and vital funds for the charities that support critical workers by asking the public to ‘get active’ and take part in a series of month-long sponsored exercise and wellness challenges.
The challenges include running, cycling, yoga and mindfulness - all of which have been designed to boost the physical and mental wellbeing of participants, supporting those who work tirelessly each day in some of the nation’s most stressful professions.
Forty-three per cent of frontline workers stressed
The campaign also follows a recent survey of Blue Light Card members, which revealed that 43 per cent of frontline workers have found it hard to stay positive over the past year, with workplace stress singled out as the biggest contributor to high stress levels. In a bid to show resilience, and to improve mental and physical health, two-thirds (66 per cent) of those surveyed tried new ways of exercising as routines changed and the nation learned to adapt to a new way of life.
Figures from Get Active also revealed that one in three people of working age suffer with poor mental health, and 70 million accumulated working days are lost each year in the UK as a result.
Physical and mental wellbeing takes hit during pandemic
Tom Dalby, CEO of Blue Light Card, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that our emergency service workers have been working tirelessly, often with little time for themselves. As a result, for many, this has left their physical and mental health taking quite a hit. But for those that have managed to find new ways of exercising, the benefits have been recognized. We look forward to seeing lots of people getting involved over the coming weeks and to helping to boost the wellbeing of so many of the nation’s critical workers whilst also raising money for some really worthy causes.”
David Kelly, Director at Get Active Challenges, also commented on the partnership: "History has demonstrated that during our most testing times, we can learn, develop and progress the most. Recognizing the challenges faced by everyone in these uncertain times, we are really appreciating the power and accessibility of activity at a time when it’s most needed.”