- The Wellbeing Champion Award was presented by iconic music producer and Railway Benefit Fund President Pete Waterman
- Award was sponsored by Health Cash Plan provider Health Shield Friendly Society
- Alstom is the UK & Ireland’s leading supplier of new trains and train services, and a leading signalling and rail infrastructure provider
Claire Sallis, from Stafford has been awarded the Wellbeing Champion Award at the annual Heart of Gold Awards. The awards are organised by the Railway Benefit Fund (RBF) and celebrate those in the rail industry who make a real difference in their workplace or community.
Claire is Professional Head of Health UK and Ireland at Alstom where she has worked for 16 years. Claire was awarded the Wellbeing Champion Award, which was sponsored by Health Cash Plan provider Health Shield Friendly Society, after secretly being nominated by a fellow colleague. She went on to win the award after consistently demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of Alstom’s employees, and making a profound impact on their workplace culture.
As part of her work going above and beyond for her colleagues, she has led the way in writing and adopting Alstom’s menopause policy, which she created in 2017, taking a relatively early lead on the important issue compared to other businesses and industries. She also arranges a quarterly support group for female Alstom employees, a safe space where they can discuss symptoms and feelings. She is also helping Alstom secure its Menopause Friendly Accreditation in 2024, as well as arranging training for all genders on the practicalities and how symptoms impact people.
Claire helped to set up the Voices of Disability Group which enables members to share lived experiences; to look, advise and support Alstom policies and procedures, to challenge “groupthink” from non-disabled colleagues and to contribute to the EDI strategy, making Alstom inclusive for people with disabilities. The Group also helps individuals with many aspects around disability including advice on reasonable adjustments to remove barriers faced by employees with a disability and the use of the Disability Passport to help protect reasonable adjustments and ensure emotional safety.
Mental Health Workshops were also set up by Claire, where sessions were run by managers and additional focus groups for employees. The aim was to look at perception versus reality, trying to reduce any stigma and helping employees view their physical and mental health as a whole. She has also set up mindfulness sessions to help give colleagues the tools to cope with stressful situations and the ranging different pressures of working in the rail sector. Additionally she has also set up the Dementia Support Group, where colleagues can talk about their experiences of family members with Dementia and the impact it has.
Claire Sallis commented: “I’m really shocked and utterly humbled by winning the Wellbeing Champion Award. I never would have expected to win an award for just doing a job that I love doing. This isn’t an award for me though, it’s for all the people that work with me and make everything possible through all their hard work – my occupational health colleagues, my HR colleagues, my wider team, my line manager and especially the Voices of Disability Group that has been so important at Alstom. It is such a great place to work and it’s one of the reasons I have been here for so many years.”
Jacqui Carr, CEO of Health Shield Friendly Society who sponsored the RBF Heart of Gold Wellbeing Champion Award commented: “It was an absolute pleasure to present this award to Claire, and I am thrilled that Health Shield were able to be part of this important event. Health Shield was formed back in 1877, with the aim of helping railway workers keep their health on track, therefore we have always had a strong heritage and connection with the rail industry.
“It was clear how much Claire’s colleagues value and appreciate everything she does for them, and how important her role is at Alstom. She really does go above and beyond, and it was only right that she won this award and received the recognition that she truly deserves.”