Co-op Group offers sleep research to its night shift workers

They will learn about the effect of light and diet on sleep and alertness, and how a lack of sleep affects mental health and the body clock

Night shift workers will benefit from direct access to cutting-edge sleep research thanks to Night Club, a new engagement programme from the Co-op Group and Wellcome.

Delivered by public engagement consultancy The Liminal Space, Night Club is the largest ever direct engagement programme in the UK to bring shift workers and sleep researchers together. It is visiting all of the Group’s distribution depots, starting with Newhouse in Motherwell, to offer night shift workers the opportunity to talk directly with professionally qualified sleep specialists. 

The night shift workers will have access to the latest sleep research, which will develop their understanding of the link between sleep health and mental well-being, and how improved sleep and energy levels will make workers happier and more productive. They will learn about the impact of light on sleep, how diet affects sleep and alertness, and how a lack of sleep affects mental health and the natural body clock.

Catherine Muirden, director of people, Co-op Food, said: “The health and wellbeing of our colleagues is constantly on our minds, and this research will help us to understand the different needs of shift workers, who can easily be overlooked in big, round the clock operations. 

“Night workers are an integral part of Co-op’s network of colleagues, and play a vital role in bringing our products to our customers across the UK. The results of the Nightclub programme should really benefit them.”

Sarah Douglas, director of Liminal Space, added: “One in eight people now work nightshifts, approximately 11.5% of the UK’s workforce, and this is increasing as more companies operate around the clock to keep our 24/7 ‘on demand’ society running.

“The negative impact nightshift work has on health and productivity is well documented and Night Club provides a direct intervention to empower this crucial, but often forgotten, part of our workforce with the latest sleep health advice.”

Farrah Nazir, strategic design and innovation manager (public engagement) at Wellcome, said: “Wellcome’s mission is to improve health for everyone, and we believe that we can only make this happen if we empower the public to access, use and engage with health research.

“Night Club reaches communities who wouldn’t typically engage with health research but stand to benefit the most. We know that employers are trusted by their employees, and they’re key to improving staff wellbeing. We’re delighted to be working with the Co-op to help them make informed, research-based decisions around the health of their staff, and look forward to seeing the outcomes.”

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