COUNTY Durham champions of health and wellbeing are celebrating after gaining national recognition.

The county enjoyed a double win this week at the Royal Society for Public Health Awards 2017.

County Durham Better Health at Work team was crowned the winner of the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Award 2017.

And a special surprise was being awarded one of only two National Public Health England (PHE) Commendations for their efforts to Reduce Inequalities at a Community Level.

The judging panel said: “This programme has impressive levels of engagement and participation, particularly from hard-to-reach groups in areas of high deprivation.

“Its engagement with local businesses at all levels enables best practice to be shared, while the range of campaigns and the outcomes demonstrated from these campaigns are also very impressive.”

Carol Gaskarth, chief executive of the Pioneering Care Partnership, based in Newton Aycliffe and which manages the programme, said: “We are very proud of our partnership approach to help local businesses to understand the importance of workplace health.

“This achievement showcases their brilliant work, well done to them all.”

More information about the team’s work can be found at