The annual Nelson Mandela Bay Health and Wellness Awards on Friday 4 October 2013 at the Beach Hotel saw a surprise guest in the form of social activist and satirist, Pieter Dirk Uys. Uys is known for his commitment to HIV AIDS education in South Africa.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Health and Wellness Awards showcase initiatives in health and wellness in Nelson Mandela Bay, from company wellness initiatives, HIV management, community projects to school initiatives. Over 70 guests from local business (private, NGO and public sector) and Business Chamber were in attendance.
“This is the only award of its kind nationwide and the awards provide companies and NGOs with an opportunity to gain recognition for their efforts to make the workplace and the Metro a healthier place,” said Dr Margo de Kooker (Chairperson: Health Wellness Steering Committee).
This is the fifth year that these awards have been held with the support of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and organized by the Nelson Mandela Bay Health and Wellness Focus Group (a group of volunteers who, under the wing of the Business Chamber, keep wellness and HIV on the agenda).
The 2012 Awards competition introduced the Wellness Champion category, which proved to be the most popular category this year, with Angelique Jennings (Victoria Park High School) walking away with the first place trophy and prizes sponsored by General Motors.
Companies, NGO’s and Schools had the opportunity to propose a Wellness Champion from within their own ranks. Bernie Roberson from Induscare took second place, and TauhireLangeveldt from Veyance took third place. Commendations were given to Dr. Chrystal Watson (MTR Smit) Beaulah Lumkwana(Community Chest)and Unathi Tshaka-Swayi (Tenneco)
Care Ministry was the NGO winner taking home a cash prize from Capitec Bank.
Victoria Park High School won the trophy for the Best Schools Initiative, and a special award was given to the NMMU Engineers without Borders project at Cheshire Homes Summerstrand, where due to their innovations, cerebral palsied individuals have taken their first steps toward realizing their Paralympic dreams.
Pieter-Dirk Uys made a “surprise “guest appearance to address the gathering and to present a number of awards. As always he was an inspiration and his wellness message hit the target.
Teams who facilitated Health and Wellness also featured with the Outstanding Wellness Team Award, sponsored by Old Mutual, being won by Missionvale Care Centre, with General Motors SA in second place and AIDC in third.
The large company winner for Wellness Excellence was Goodyear, the Medium Business Category winner was Tenneco and the Small Business winner was Veyance Technologies. The NMB Municipality won the Public Service Award for their in- house wellness programme.
The morning was a celebration of the good work being done in the Metro, with a Keynote address by Celeste Venter, Project leader and facilitator for Leadership Development Initiativesfor the NMMU Business School, entitled “Wellness Programmes in the VUCA World (VUCA =Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Opaque) challenging companies to have an inspiring vision, to develop partnerships and build resilience at all levels.
“The only awards of their kind in the country, the Health and Wellness awards provide companies, NGOs and schools with a high profile opportunity to gain recognition for best practice in health and wellness programmes. Entrants were recognised for their hard work, innovation, resourcefulness and commitment, as well as their efforts towards sustainability and a proactive approach to employee wellness,” concluded, Dr de Kooker.
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