Pleased to meet you

This blog will be a way that I can share with you what it’s like being the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, the work we do and perhaps the occasional post on things that draw my attention online. The 240 characters offered by Twitter isn’t always enough space to give a fuller version of our work.

I wanted to start this week with an issue which unites lots of us at the moment and that’s ensuring our mental health and wellbeing are considered. In a previous life, I was a school teacher but over recent months all you parents out there have become teachers with lockdown meaning that lots of us are at home and having to juggle day jobs with teaching the kids.

Teaching in the classroom was hard enough so I know how you all feel having to field even more questions about school work than usual between taking work related calls. It can leave us all feeling a little overwhelmed with responsibility and in awe of the work our teachers do every day.

For all you ‘home teachers’ out there, the BBC Bitesize website is brilliant.

We’ve issued literally hundreds of laptops here at Cleveland Police to our brilliant staff to ensure that as many of them as possible can work at home whilst remaining a valued and valuable member of the team. It’s been a superhuman effort and whilst working from home is the only option for some people at the moment, nothing beats human interactions in the workplace to ensure that people are well looked after and feel well.

I know we’ve all missed a coffee with friends, dinner out or even a simple walk with someone outside their ‘bubble’. There is something you can do though; pick up the phone to a friend or work colleague and check in to make sure their ok. It’s a simple task any of us can complete. I’ve done it today already.

Speaking of a coffee friends, today seems to be the perfect day to recognise the huge benefits that come from a catch up over a cup of something warm – it’s the third Monday in January, which is usually known as ‘Blue Monday’. Brew Monday, a campaign from The Samaritans, aims to turn this day on its head and into something positive by encouraging people to get together over a virtual cuppa. 

Because, as The Samaritans rightly say, “now more than ever, sharing a cuppa with is more than a drink – it’s about reaching out, checking in and staying connected.” You can read more about ways to get involved and support the fantastic work of The Samaritans here.

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The work that our officers and staff have to occasionally do means that we need to keep developing our welfare provision. Our very own Inspector Phil Spencer was invited to ‘zoom’ with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on mental health and wellbeing last week. If that isn’t an endorsement of good work, I don’t know what is. Watch it below.

For all those out there struggling with loneliness there are a whole host of agencies that can help including:

I look forward to engaging on this forum over the weeks to come.

As we say where I’m from:

Cadwch yn ddiogel / Keep safe

Richard Lewis

Chief Constable

PS – Yes, I do write this myself

10 thoughts on “Pleased to meet you

  1. Thank you for being such a shining Light within the Cleveland community and addressing matters which have such significance/importance to those within it and those further afield. Thank you for everything you do and thank you to the officers for always being there.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading that. Just shows we are all human . Life is pretty tough at the moment for everyone, especially those working on the front line, so just to say we thankyou and your team and appreciate what you are all doing .

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  3. Thank you to those that posted a response so far. I read them all and I’m grateful.

    We all need to help care for each other at this difficult time and it’s great to see such supportive people.

    Next week’s blog is being prepared as we speak and will be focussed on Domestic Abuse. I look forward to posting on Monday

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    1. There is no greater feeling for law abiding people…than to feel safe when they go to bed at night.may your efforts be rewarded with the same strength that you put in.

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  4. My son loves me reading things from your blog to him (he’s 7 next Tuesday) he’s absolutely obsessed with the police. So much so he already has half the equipment for when he’s older!

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