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.
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:
- Age UK who offer a weekly telephone befriending service.
- Mind UK offer advice on mental health and coronavirus too.
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
PS – Yes, I do write this myself