It has been well publicised that there has been an increase in the number of Police Officers and Staff off sick with psychological issues over the last decade to what is now record numbers. In 2015, a group of Officers from Essex Police notice the change and banded together to create a peer-support network which is now a nationwide charity.
Call4Backup was born out of an identified need to provide a ‘buddy’ or a ‘rep’ for someone to talk to when feeling at his or her lowest. Billed as the ‘UK Police Peer Support Charity’, Call4Backup now provides help, support and direction on all manner of issues affecting the everyday lives of serving Police Officers, Staff and Volunteers. This is not just a service to help those in need of work-based advice but they will support the home life too.
The support on offer includes a helpline service in the form of phone, text or emails, which allows those who require help to make contact with fully trained Support Agents who will be able to offer that friendly ear of a colleague, without having to explain all of the jargon that we use in our roles. Their support agents are all serving, ex or retired Police officers or staff.
In the last 6 months, Call4Backup has seen their profile grow and with it funding increases. With this in mind the charity have already started funding counselling for serving members of Police personnel.
“Offer financial support and counselling on a case-by-case basis”
“At our annual meeting in February, we felt that one of our main objectives for the coming year was to increase our funding for counselling” said Rob Webber, The Founder of the charity. “There has been an increase in conversations about wellbeing and mental health over the last few years and, although we were around before the Blue Light Programme received its funding, we are thankful for the work MIND have done, as it has opened the doors to lots of smaller charities like ours.”
“We rely very heavily on fundraising and donations as we do not currently receive any government funding. With a successful year of fundraising we are looking to advertise more, spread the good work we are doing and also offer financial support and counselling on a case-by-case basis.”
“We are acutely aware that with budget cuts being imposed upon services up and down the country there is a reduction in what the Welfare Services can afford. This is where the Police Services need to be welcoming charities like ours in to assist our colleagues and reduce their workload.”