Over the last financial year, due to COVID19, we had to pause our grants for forces as we assessed the financial implications COVID19 had on us as a charity. Thankfully in April 2021 we were able to reopen our Wellbeing and Police Care Days funds. These grants enable Police forces to apply for funding towards initiatives that support the mental health and wellbeing of their officers, staff and volunteers.
But during that pause, we took the opportunity to reflect on our Wellbeing Fund and what it has achieved over the past five years. From April 2016 until March 2021, we awarded over £277,000 towards 111 projects across 42 Police forces and sports associations. From these projects we found themes emerging on the type of projects forces wanted help with and at the top of that list was wellbeing rooms.
Over the last five years we approved a staggering 26 grant applications for the creation of indoor wellbeing spaces, committing to over £52,000 in the process. This interest in wellbeing spaces triggered us to test the impact of these rooms through our Police Care Rooms project, the results of which are being written up as we speak (watch this space!).
Other projects such as creating gyms, suicide prevention awareness seminars, resilience training, mental health first aider training and employee health checks also featured highly on the list.
As we move forward in supporting forces to do all they can to help reduce and prevent the impact of harm experienced due to policing, we decided to revise the types of projects our wellbeing fund would focus on. We want this fund to provide up to £3,000 for projects that pioneer ideas that are new, different, and demonstrate well thought-out approaches to tackling wellbeing problems in force. The wellbeing fund should be a catalyst for success, providing funding for new initiatives that add to the picture of what works. This means that once we’ve funded a project over five times, each consistently demonstrating positive impact, we will add this data to our information on what works and encourage Police forces to implement these projects themselves.
This means we will no longer be funding wellbeing rooms, but instead look to encourage Police forces to provide these spaces themselves. Over the next couple of months, we hope to produce reports on the impact of these rooms and further guidance on how forces can create these rooms in every station. But this is just one example of the many projects we know works, thanks to our wellbeing fund. For more information, check out our full Debrief on our Wellbeing Fund; five year review.
If you are interested in finding out more on how we can support Police forces, please do get in touch via Hello@policecare.org.uk or complete an online referral.