Offering support for officers
Based in the Ribble Valley, St Michael’s Lodge is one of five locations across the North West of England supporting a number of police forces, run by the North West Police Benevolent Fund (NWPBF).
Around 400 Lancashire officers utilised the facility last year, with this number set to grow in 2018.
The facility offers physiotherapy and other support for officers who may have been involved in a serious incident and helps them move forward. It is funded through donations from serving and former officers along with other individuals and organisations who want to support the fund and the work it does.
The Commissioner saw first-hand the facilities being used by officers from Lancashire and heard about the type of work being done to support those who may have been affected either physically or mentally in the line of duty, for example after the Manchester Arena Bombing.
He said: “It has been really useful to hear about the great work being done by the North West Police Benevolent Fund, particularly here in Lancashire, with so many officers being supported over the last year and many more continuing to access vital help.
“The wellbeing of officers is absolutely critical, especially at a time when the pressures they are facing day in and day out have never been greater.
“Looking after the emotional and physical needs of officers is a really important part of the work that Lancashire police do, and anything that helps those who protect us in their time of need can only be a good thing.”
Jackie Smithies from NWPBF said: We recognise all too well the huge pressures placed on Police Officers both serving and retired and also the financial constraints on our Forces. It is inevitable and a sad part of the role that our Officers will get injured or become ill, which can be both physically and mentally, and will need time and help to recover.
We look to provide that treatment, help and support for our officers when they need it and assist them back to full health and fitness.