A new Wellbeing Suite has been officially opened at Huddersfield Police Station. On 8 December, the doors to the new facility were officially opened with the aim to promote and protect the wellbeing of staff.
The multi-purpose space includes a quiet/faith room, a private case conference room, facilities for nursing mothers and access to private washroom facilities. Officers and staff will be able to use the facilities when they need to take time out of their working day without distractions in order to help restore their sense of wellbeing. There is also a dedicated Wellbeing Support Team who have undertaken bespoke listening skills training that was supported by local mental health charity Support to Recovery and the Samaritans. The team were presented with certificates at the event and will be able to support colleagues who may need support.
Artists from Support to Recovery have produced a hand made collage for the Wellbeing Suite and which will be displayed in the entrance, as well as artwork for the quiet room and canteen facilities. Members of staff from West Yorkshire Police also helped out.
Superintendent for People and Culture, Marianne Huison, said, “I am delighted to be formally opening the ‘Wellbeing Suite’ at Kirklees, which I am sure will be a well utilised space for our staff. At a time when demands upon and expectations of our staff have never been higher, it is critical that we them in managing their health and wellbeing. We recognise that policing is a stressful job and West Yorkshire Police has taken a very proactive approach to health and wellbeing on a local level.”
Police Constable Elaine Burke, of Kirklees Continuous Improvement Unit, said, “Both the Wellbeing Suite and the Peer Support team are important aspects in our forward thinking and accessible support for our staff on a day-to-day basis. Implementing actions to help support wellbeing has benefits both on a personal level and within the work environment. Kirklees are committed to retaining a capable workforce and recognising their contributions. We hope to build on the work being done so far.”
Christine Pickavance, Director at The Samaritans Huddersfield branch, said, “It has been a privilege to work with Support to Recovery on the Police Peer Support project. As Samaritans it is our jobs to actively listen to all callers. As part of the peer support training we have worked on hearing and really listening to colleagues who need support.
Scarlette Homeshaw, Operations Manager at Support to Recovery, said, “It has been brilliant to see how dedicated our local police force are in supporting the well-being of both our community and their own staff. S2R’s regular craft group were thrilled to make a wall hanging for the Well-being suite and for members of Kirklees Police and Samaritans to have taken part in the creation of this mixed-media artwork.”
Support to Recovery Co-ordinator, Louisa Nardini, said, “Working with PC Elaine Burke and colleagues in the Continuous Improvement Unit has been both interesting and rewarding. I am confident that the Peer Support scheme we have developed together will provide long term benefits and I very much look forward to continuing the partnership that the Kirklees Police have created with S2R.”
The Wellbeing Suite is located in the police station and support will be provided by 12 staff volunteers from the Wellbeing Peer Support Team.