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28 October 2014

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Have you got a healthy workplace?

The staff get ready to ramble!

As part of the Big Challenge campaign, the BBC are scouring the UK to find and celebrate the UK's healthiest workplaces, as well as the employers and employees who've made it happen.


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Avenance catering company is applying for a BBC Big Challenge Health Works Award. The company operates catering contracts across Lancashire and have recently launched a new system, named Balance, which is taking big steps to inspire their customers towards healthier food choices. Using a system of "friendly food flagging" the Balance system clearly indicates the breakfast, lunch and dinners, which impact positively on health. The flags clearly demonstrate food which is friendly to the heart, low in fat, low in salt and food which will help achieve the recommended five daily fruits and vegetable portions.

Avenance's dietician Raffaella Piovesan says: "We believe that the four flags highlight the healthier options in a positive friendly manner, avoiding a "do not eat" approach. We're not turning into a healthy eating company, but we do take seriously our role as educator. In the current climate there's a lot of discussion about healthy eating and obesity. We are simply pointing out the healthier options and leaving the customer in charge."

The company also has its own rambling club, and on its latest expedition ramblers clocked up 29 miles. Operations Director Stewart Smallwood says: "We're working in front of all this lovely food everyday so we have to do something to work it off as well! Walking's just one of the things we do."

Earlier in the year, the staff faced their toughest challenge yet - the Peaks Lakeland Challenge which took place in July. Stewart says: "We do an awful lot of walking, which doesn't sound too strenuous until you look at the fact that we are walking in the mountains and Lake District. We actually trained all year for our latest challenge, which was in aid of an international children's charity. We climbed 12,000 feet and 29 miles in 19 hours. In places we had to use ropes to get up the mountains, so it certainly wasn't just a stroll in the park. We had everyone, including the secretaries to the chief executive taking part."

If your workplace is a healthy workplace - you can find out more about the BBC Health Works Award on the Big Challenge website.

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