NORDIC walking, boxercise, Zumba and spinning taster sessions have helped a housing group win a commendation for health promotion for the second year running.

The Vela Housing Group, which incorporates Tees-based Tristar Homes and Housing Hartlepool, won the accolade for its efforts to promote health and wellbeing among staff.

It has clinched the Continuing Excellence level of the North East Better Health at Work awards.

Since being awarded the gold level last year, further campaigns were undertaken to benefit staff, including an event with bikes which powered a blender to blitz fruit and make a smoothie to promote healthy eating and exercise.

It also offered free exercise taster sessions, Flu vaccinations and healthy heart and blood pressure checks.

Public Health North East, the external assessors of the award, commended Vela for its policies, plans and activities in helping its staff lead a healthy and positive life at work.

Bernadette Stainsby, Head of Human Resources at Vela said: “Much of our continued success has been achieved through our creation of health advocates whose passion for delivering excellence have been instrumental in attaining the highest level award through team work and inspiring other colleagues to take part in a range of activities.”