Derbyshire Police Federation

Federation’s new full-time rep says wellbeing ‘must be top of the agenda’

8 March 2024

A month into her time as a full-time Derbyshire Police Federation representative, we caught up with Helen Gallear to find out what her main goals are in the role and how she hopes to improve wellbeing in the workplace for members.

Having joined the Force 22 years ago, Helen has spent the majority of her career supporting sexual offence victims or the families of those who have been murdered.

Both roles required Helen to constantly show empathy and communicate compassionately, two skills that she feels will help her succeed in her full-time Fed rep role.

“I think there’s always so many skills officers learn on the job that they can utilise as a Fed rep,” said Helen, who is the Federation’s CAPLO and wellbeing lead.

“For me, I love supporting people - I’m naturally drawn to helping others.”

More recently, Helen worked with sexual offenders and violent offenders, supporting them when they were released from prison and working to stop them from reoffending. 

“I loved that job,” she added. “You’d build a real rapport with them, to help them live a better life outside of prison.”


Derbyshire Police Federation's CAPLO and wellbeing lead Helen Gallear


Helen became a workplace rep around four years ago and more recently, when the opportunity came up to take on the role full-time, she admits she jumped at the chance.

“Honestly, I couldn’t continue working in the Force and being a part-time Fed rep - the two came with their own demands. So when the full-time Fed rep role came up, I felt like I was the luckiest woman in the organisation. It definitely felt like the job came up at exactly the right time,” Helen continued.

“I can now dedicate my time to being there for our members and giving them the support they deserve.”

Just weeks in and Helen already has her mind set on a number of changes she wants to make happen.

“My priority is going to be focusing on wellbeing,” she explained.

“So many of our members see some horrendous things during their time as an officer and we need to remember, we’re all human - the support must be there across the entire Force. Mental health and wellbeing need to be top of the agenda, regardless of what department you’re in.

“If we’re not careful, we’re going to see more and more officers burnt out and that’s not OK. I want to stop people from leaving their roles and instead keep them in a job they want to be in.”

Helen hopes to not only support members but also educate line managers, to prevent mental health issues from arising in the first place. 

“As a Force, we’re getting better but we still have a long way to go,” added Helen, who wants to introduce digital ‘wellbeing passports’ for officers, which will hold all information on their mental health and wellbeing. They can then take these ‘passports’ with them from job to job.

“Having these passports in place will mean officers don’t need to explain or repeat themselves over and over again.”

Also on her ‘to-do’ list is, working towards stopping the stigma surrounding mental health and encouraging members to be kind to one another.

She ended: “At the end of the day, we’re one big police family - ultimately I just want members to be kind and look out for each other.”

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June 2024