Former GAA star and mental health champion Oisin McConville will team up with broadcaster Wendy Austin for Inspire’s second annual Workplace Wellbeing Awards.

The event champions innovation and commitment to wellbeing at work by employers who believe in protecting and nurturing the mental health and wellbeing of employees.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 20 June in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast.

Hosted by BBC broadcaster Wendy Austin, it will celebrate excellence in teamwork, wellbeing and support in workplaces across Northern Ireland, and will feature a special live interview and Q&A with former GAA star Oisin McConville, about his footballing career and his own personal battle with a gambling addiction.

Speaking today, Oisin McConville said:

“Looking after the emotional wellbeing of employees is something that all employers need to be aware of, especially at a time where we are trying to encourage more openness about mental health and wellbeing.

“My own mental health battle left me feeling very isolated because I felt like I could not discuss it openly and kept it very much hidden from my team mates and colleagues. Today thankfully, things are changing.

“For employers to place an emphasis on the wellbeing of their team is something to celebrate and champion so that it can inspire similar action in other organisations. Building and supporting resilience in teams should be a combined effort.

“It’s an honour for me to be able to participate in Inspire’s Workplace Wellbeing Awards this year.”

Broadcaster Wendy Austin said:

“As a business broadcaster, I talk to so many people about their businesses and organisations and what makes them successful.

“One emerging theme we see now is increasing talk about resilience and mental wellbeing in the workplace.

“In today’s very competitive business world, employers understand that the wellbeing of their workforce will have an impact on the wellbeing of their business and that means supporting employees and their mental health.

“It’s so encouraging to see Inspire recognise those employers who are already doing this, and I hope it encourages similar action by others.”

John Conaghan, Director of Professional Services at Inspire, added:

“These awards, now in their second year, are an important public celebration of employers’ commitment to employee resilience and wellbeing.

“We launched our first ever awards in 2018 and the response this year when we opened nominations was phenomenal. So many organisations are putting the wellbeing of their employees at the heart of what they do, and it is encouraging to see the transformative effect that this is having in various workplaces.

“At Inspire Workplaces we have over 20 years’ experience in working with companies from across Ireland who have shown the value they place on their staff by investing in wellbeing, and we see the change that makes every day.

“The awards give us the opportunity to recognise employers that are going above and beyond the call of duty or doing something really innovative to improve and support a positive and resilient workforce. The more we celebrate approaches like this, the more they will become the norm.”  

Eight awards categories will pay tribute to those organisations who have gone above and beyond in supporting positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Those nominated for each category are listed below:

Excellence in Public Sector Workplace Wellbeing:

Belfast Met

Northern Health and Social Care Trust

North West Regional College



NI Social Care Council

Education Authority

Excellence in Private Sector Workplace Wellbeing:


C3 Fitness

Hughes Insurance

Lagan Specialist Contracting Group

Excellence in Voluntary, Community or Social Enterprise Workplace Wellbeing:


Job Assist Centre West Belfast

Ulster Supported Employment Ltd.

Excellence in Local Government Workplace Wellbeing:

Antrim and Newtownabbey


Promoting a Positive Wellbeing Culture:

Ashton Community Trust



NI Water


NI Blood Transfusion Service


Queen’s University

Seaview Primary School


Hughes Insurance

My Pizza Slice Ltd

JMG Systems

Outstanding Employee Led Initiative:


Queen’s University Belfast


Workplace Wellbeing Innovation Award:



Northern Health and Social Care Trust

NI Water


Queen’s University


Vital Nutrition

Education Authority

Inspire will also award a Lifetime Achievement Award which will be chosen by the Inspire Workplaces Board.