20 November 2019
More officers in need will be able to be supported following a cash boost to a critical welfare programme.
The Police Federation of England and Wales agreed this week to allocate up to £375,000 to the Welfare Support Program.
The service, currently offers a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year helpline for officers and their families who are going through life-changing circumstances. The staff have had training in police discipline, Post Incident Procedures (PIPs), and are certified in mental health first aid.
In the three years since it was set up, the helpline has been able to support more than 1,000 officers and saved at least six from taking their own lives.
The £375,000 is intended to help expand the services provided by the Welfare Support Program, which is run on behalf of the PFEW by the Police Firearms Officers Association, including setting up a proactive phone line that will reach out to officers who may be in need, and a bespoke counselling service.
The expanded services will be trialled for a year and are also aimed at better supporting local frontline PFEW reps as they continue to serve in multiple roles, and with a wide variety of responsibilities.
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “This is exciting news and underlines the support given to our members and reps by the Federation.
"It’s fitting that in our hundredth year we have made the decision to enhance the programme which helps so many of our members and their families. Wellbeing and the support we give to our colleagues is essential and this will ensure the good work of the Welfare Support Programme not only continues but is enhanced.”