Automotive manufacturer TMD Friction has been recognised for its investment into staff health and wellbeing.

The Hartlepool-based company has been awarded the Better Health at Work Bronze status.

TMD Friction, which makes brake pads for 95 per cent of the range for Europe’s after market, started working towards the award in 2020 with campaigns running through until the end of 2021, as part of its commitment to creating a happy and healthy environment for its 500-plus workforce.

Led by HR business partner Hannah Bedford, the campaign ran under two main themes, Health and Wellbeing and Mental Health. Initiatives included step challenges, Cycle to Work schemes, activities to raise awareness of mental health including ‘Back to Front’ and fundraising drives for charities chosen by staff members, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Hartlepool-based Miles for Men and St Rocco’s Hospice in Warrington.

The company also introduced Covid-19 hamper packs for staff affected by the pandemic and gave everyone a free Christmas lunch – with those unable to get onto site receiving a boxed lunch delivered to their homes.

Hannah said: “We decided to go for the Better Health at Work bronze award to reinforce our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our staff.

“We started working towards the award in 2020 with a number of schemes and initiatives introduced to support our application.

“Everyone did their bit, whether it was running on-site schemes, fundraising events, or helping with the portfolio write ups, and special mention must go to Alison Matthews for all of the work she put in on the charity front, which was a key aspect of the process to secure the bronze award.

“Our aim now is to work towards the silver certificate, which we’ll be doing this year.”

TMD Friction is a global manufacturer of brake pads, with the Hartlepool plant producing pads for 95 per cent of the models for Europe’s aftermarket, including emergency services vehicles and many of the major distribution small trucks and vans.

TMD Friction, which has its only UK production facility in Hartlepool, has been making parts for the passenger car aftermarket since 1974 and now employs 508 people in the North East.

Tom Russell, UK Operations Manager, said: “I want to say congratulations to every member of staff who played their part in TMD Friction being awarded the prestigious Better Health at Work bronze award. It’s testament to the importance we place in the health and wellbeing of our staff – we know a happy and healthy workforce is a more productive one and our aim now is to work towards securing the silver status and continuing the journey to make TMD Friction a great place to work.”