Male cancer awareness for Veolia staff

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Last Updated: 13 Sep 2017 12:38pm

A Kent Healthy Business Award holder in Tonbridge and Malling has hosted an event to raise awareness of cancer in men.  Veolia provides a comprehensive range of waste, water and energy management services and is Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's contractor for refuse and recycling collections.

Testicular cancer most commonly affects men between the ages of 15-45. Statistically it is the most common cancer in men aged between 25 and 49. Over 2,200 men are diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK and numbers are increasing

Male cancer charity Orchid visited Veolia's depot in Tonbridge on Friday 8 September to meet staff, once they had finished their shifts, to raise awareness of male cancers in a light-hearted, entertaining way with a special visit from 'Miss Orchid'.  Staff were also given important information about symptoms, treatment and prevention and were encouraged to check themselves.

Launched by Kent County Council in 2014, the Kent Healthy Business Award is based on The Workplace Wellbeing Charter National Award for England, with the aim of improving local work environments and helping companies to boost productivity by keeping staff healthy and safe. Businesses are assessed in areas such as leadership, absence management, health and safety, mental health and wellbeing, environment, physical activity, healthy eating, smoking and tobacco related ill health and alcohol and substance misuse.

There are three levels of award – Commitment, Achievement and Excellence.  Veolia holds an award for 'Excellence' in Health & Safety and Absence Management as well as 'Commitment' across all 9 health-related themes which make up the scheme.

Cllr Maria Heslop, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Community Services, says: "When someone discovers they have cancer it can be a very frightening experience – that's why it's so important that charities like Orchid are on hand to offer support and to help raise awareness of how important it is to look out for the symptoms and get yourself checked out as soon as possible. 

I would like to congratulate Veolia for the excellent work they are doing to help keep their staff healthy and safe."

Paul Fitzgerald, Contract Manager at Veolia, says: "We are very grateful to 'Miss Orchid' for talking to our staff today.  Cancer is such a serious issue but Orchid's light-hearted approach to explaining the symptoms of male cancers and how they can be treated really helped break the ice at the start of the session and took aware any awkwardness we had about discovering this sensitive issue. Staff definitely took the messages on board and we are all so much better informed about what to look out for and what to do if we have any concerns."

Kent Ambassador for cancer charity Orchid Bernard Bibby says: "Thank you to Veolia and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council for taking the initiative in providing a platform for us to talk to men about positive health care.  Both the charity and Miss Orchid would welcome any opportunity to talk to companies across Kent to help spread this important message."

For more information about Orchid, please call the national male cancer helpline on 0808 802 0010.