Read our latest bulletin: Sept 2023

Published 26 Sep 2023
Written by
Oscar Kilo
National Police Wellbeing Service
Reading time
10 mins

Welcome to the Oscar Kilo, National Police Wellbeing Service latest bulletin which covers September 2023. Read on to find out what we have been up to and what to expect from us in the coming weeks.

What we've been up to

Police Superintendents conference

We had a great couple of days at the Superintendents conference. Lots of really thought provoking sessions throughout the three days and great to see such a passion and commitment shown by the association for health and wellbeing right across policing. It was a fantastic opportunity as always to meet lots of colleagues from all over the country, to let them know what support is on offer for them, and to get their feedback and a real sense of what it is they need in their working lives to keep them happy and healthy at work. 

Find out more about the conference and listen to Paul Fotheringham delivering his presidential address using the link below

PSA presidential address

Emergency services show

For the fourth year running we have attended the emergency services show at the NEC in Birmingham. This event brings together professionals, experts, and thought leaders from all the emergency services and is visited by thousands of individuals who work in or are interested in this sector.

Having a presence at this event gave us the opportunity to meet visitors, explain the work we do and talk about the new projects we will be launching in the coming months. 

We showcased our new OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dog van and were joined by some of our OK9 handlers and their dogs. 

This year we shared our stand with the College of Policing to emphasise our working relationship and our standing within policing.

We were also delighted to be joined by Anna Earl our nutrition for wellbeing expert who did an inspiring talk, discussing nutrition and shift work, in the health and wellbeing theatre. 

Thanks to everyone who came to say hello to us, we hope you enjoyed the event and we look forward to seeing you next year.

OK Team at ESS 23


OK9 dog vans

We have funded two brand-new vans in recognition of the huge impact that the OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dogs have made to police wellbeing. 

There are now over 200 OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dogs in forces across the country. Our OK9 handlers are passionate about helping colleagues through this form of peer support and these dogs are having a huge impact on the officers and staff they are working with.

We are making the vans available to forces throughout England and Wales who are actively involved in the OK9 network to enable them to deliver their OK9 wellbeing dog services more widely.

The vans will be located in the north and south of England to maximise the geographical reach. Forces will be able to request to borrow a van to support local wellbeing initiatives and events where the OK9 wellbeing dogs are attending. 

We are also making the vans available for large scale national events and major incidents to use alongside our wellbeing vans.

Find out more about our OK9 wellbeing dogs.

OK9 car and dog Rocky at ESS


Operation Hampshire

Following the launch of the Op Hampshire digital training package it is really encouraging to know that over 4700 of our officers and staff have accessed and completed the online course. A number of forces are making this a mandatory training requirement in order to improve awareness of our expectations for what we should be doing for our colleagues who find themselves victims of assault. Visit the Operation Hampshire  page and scroll down to find out more.

On the subject of police assault victims we'd like to take the opportunity to remind everyone how important it is that we articulate the impact assaults have. Aside from your evidential statement a Victim Personal Statement can really affect the sentencing options for the bench. You can find full details on our Operation Hampshire page under the Top Tips section. Being assaulted is not acceptable, the can impact an individual in many ways, not just physically and we need to make sure we capture that.

Peer support for wellbeing

Since April 2023 we have held 40 peer support courses, delivered to 17 forces resulting in 480 individuals trained to deliver peer support in their force. We have 26 more courses booked in and will continue to hold these courses throughout the year to meet demand. 

We are also running peer support coordinator courses, this one day course takes place on Microsoft Teams and is ideal for new coordinators or individuals setting up a peer support network within force.

Peer support refresher is a half day course also delivered on Microsoft Teams and is ideal for those who have attended an initial peer support course but need further guidance.

We have introduced a dedicated peer support member page on the Oscar Kilo website. This page is available to all our trained peer supporters to access and share resources and to find the most up to date information, forms, documentation, and guidance to support them in their role. To access you will need an Oscar Kilo account (if you haven't got one you can register here), we can then give you access to the page.

Peer supporters are being used for team building, training, pre TRiM, defusing, events, one to ones and group sessions with colleagues. Peer Supporters have interacted and supported over 130 colleagues during August. They have referred and signposted to occupational health, hospital, GP, HR, line mangers, Federation, Unison, financial assistance, welfare, wellbeing teams and EAP.

If you are interested in becoming a peer supporter or want to know more about what we offer please check out our peer support page.

Peer support for wellbeing

Counsellors and psychologists working group

The national working group for counsellors and psychologists working in policing had their second meeting in September. The group is now 42 members strong from 24 forces. This is a group for qualified practitioners undertaking therapy with serving police officers in force, providing a place to discuss themes, issues and share best practice. If you feel you should be part of this group or want to know more please get in touch.

National police memorial day

Claire Long our families and leavers lead was privileged to attend this special event in Cardiff and has shared her thoughts on the day.

Attending the 20th Anniversary of National Police Memorial Day in Cardiff. I was yet again reminded of the huge importance of this event.

The ability for the families and friends who have lost loved ones, to come together, find comfort and share their grief was very moving. They are proud, open and honest about how they feel, in a way which day to day life does not always permit. 

Whilst the loss for some may be some years ago, for many of the families it feels like yesterday. Time has stood still.

The audience were assured that the commitment to NPMD is as strong as ever under the newly formed Police Remembrance Trust. A last minute change of venue this year was managed with great care by the organising team.

It had been a real privilege to pay my respects on behalf of the National Police Wellbeing Service to those officers throughout the UK who lost their life whilst serving in the police.

I came away with the sound of wonderful welsh voices ringing in my ears.

Police traumatic events checklist

We are really proud to be supporting this work by Police Care UK, which we hope will help to shape the future national approach to trauma support across policing.

Everyday trauma exposure is increasingly accepted as part of modern policing. As part of their commitment to reduce the impact of harm in policing, they have published the world’s first evidence-based police traumatic events checklist.

Find out more 


Coming soon

How does shift work impact your family life?

We know how tough it can be to have a loved one working in policing, so we are introducing a new programme of work aimed at supporting 'families' of police officers and staff.

To help us with this work, which will be launched in November, we want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly of how you deal with shifts, and how they impact on your family life.

If you work shifts (or used to) or live with someone who does, please fill in our survey, it doesn't matter if you work in policing or another emergency service, we'd love to have your thoughts.

Please use the link below to access the survey it will only take a couple of minutes.

Take our survey

Occupational health sleep webinar

On 10 October we will be hosting a special sleep and fatigue webinar aimed at occupational health professionals. Facilitated by sleep expert Dr Sophie Bostock, this learning event covers how to identify the most common sleep disorders, and recommended treatment approaches. You'll discuss the relationship between sleep and mental health, and why sleep problems can be so persistent and challenging to manage. You will also learn about available resources from Oscar Kilo, and what you'd like to see next!

If you are an occupational health practitioner and are not part our our OH network but would like to be included in the webinar please get in touch

Nutrition for wellbeing, five day shift worker meal planning

Do you struggle to cook healthy meals on a regular basis? Particularly on a night shift, do you resort to fast food and ready meals?

Exciting news! Shift workers, it's time to take charge of your nutrition to support your health and energy levels, even on those demanding night shifts!

Join us for our five day meal planning campaign. We'll be kicking off with a webinar hosted by nutritionist Anna Earl on Thursday 12 October at 2pm followed by a full week of meal ideas, recipes, great time saving and money saving tips. Starting on Monday 16 October this challenge will provide you with practical solutions and delicious meal ideas to keep you energised and feel your best.

Register for the webinar

Bereavement counselling services

During October we will be writing to all forces to remind them of our free specialist bereavement counselling services, launched in May, which is offered through 'Just B'.

If a serving officer or member of staff should tragically die in the execution of their duties or by suicide – this counselling service is now available to the officer or staff members’ family and their immediate colleagues.

While some forces already have great support in place, we have provided this as an option for those organisations who either do not yet have anything available or wish to build on what they already offer.

We have established this service as part our work in delivering the Police Covenant to increase the support on offer for police officers and staff and their families.  It is free of charge to forces, funded by the National Police Wellbeing Service, full details have been shared with force wellbeing and occupational health teams.

Find out more

National Police Wellbeing Survey results

In the next month we will be publishing the results of the 2022/23 National Police Wellbeing Survey. We will let you know the main findings and full report through our website and on social media. You can read about our previous surveys.

National Police Federation Conference

We are delighted to be supporting the Police Federation online conference. We will have a virtual presence at this event alongside the College of Policing. 

Emergency responders mental health and wellbeing symposium 2023

ES mental health symposium 2023

We are delighted to tell you about the third annual symposium, which is hosted by a collaboration of emergency service and first responder organisations, together with the charities that support them. The aim of the event is to bring together senior leaders, practitioners and front-line staff to share ‘better practice’ across the emergency services sector to best support the mental health and wellbeing of its workforces. 

An annual event, it provides a unique platform for members of all emergency responder organisations and the senior leaders board to showcase progress made since the last symposium ensuring that mental health remains a priority for all services.

The symposium is open to anyone working within the emergency services and responder organisations with an interest in wellbeing and mental health. Whether you are a first responder, frontline staff or volunteer, a senior leader or HR/people team member, or a wellbeing practitioner – this event could be for you.

Places are limited, as we are covering all of the emergency services, but if you want to attend, please get in touch and let us know how attending will help you deliver a better wellbeing provision in your force.

Wellfest virtual wellbeing festival

This year, Devon and Cornwall Police are delighted to open their Wellfest Virtual Wellbeing Festival to all forces across the country, which takes place w/c 9 October.

You can choose from more than sixty 'Teams' sessions covering all areas of wellbeing. There are sessions for all the family including a virtual trip to a zoo and a live cookery class, plus speakers sharing their own inspiring stories including Gamal Turawa or 'G' as he prefers, who is a living testament to the power of resilience and determination, retired F1 star and former 'Stig' on Top Gear Perry McCarthy, Royal Marine veteran and triple amputee Mark Ormrod MBE, and Faith Dickey who is one of the best high liners in the world.

If you are interested you can download the full schedule and plan your sessions using the button below please sign up as soon as possible as registration closes two days before each event.

Wellfest full schedule and booking information

If you have any questions about any of the articles in this bulletin please contact us.