Keeping the peace: Series 3

We are excited to bring you the third series of the 'Keeping the Peace' podcast-style interviews with Alexis Powell-Howard from Fortis Therapy and Training. 

In this series Alexis speaks to members of our team. Each talk about their roles and the work they are doing to support and improve wellbeing of all who work in policing.

Episode 1: Dr Ian Hesketh

Ian is the wellbeing lead at the UK College of Policing and the senior responsible owner (SRO) for the National Police Wellbeing Service in the UK. Ian is a well published researcher and author with his research interests being centred on wellbeing, resilience and transformation in the context of policing.  Ian most notably introduced the concept and phenomena of leaveism to explain human behaviours associated with workplace workload and stress.   

In this conversation with Alexis, Ian shares why he is so focussed on developing the understanding of wellbeing in Policing, and his reasons for beginning the now well established service which has become well-regarded, innovative and research led with the intention of not just changing the perception of wellbeing in policing, but developing impactive and effective solutions, strategies and education.

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Episode 2: Garry Botterill

Garry has served in the Royal Navy and was a Police Officer for 28 years. He is an Armed Forces Champion and helped set up the Sussex Police Armed Forces network. He co-developed a police mental health app called Backup Buddy which is now used in many forces in the UK and abroad. He won a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship and travelled extensively to research PTSD assistance dogs then set up Service Dogs UK a successful assistance dog charity for Veterans of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services with PTSD.  In recognition of his knowledge in this area he was invited to join the National Police Wellbeing Service to lead nationally with the OK9 Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dogs.

In this conversation with Alexis, Garry shares his passion for therapy and wellbeing dogs, why they work! And how they make such a difference for the veterans they support.

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Episode 3: Dr Yvonne Taylor

It is now well known that sleep is essential to our rest, recovery and general wellbeing but how can this be considered when it comes to shift work and the impact on the individual?  Yvonne has been a police officer for over 26 years, serving in both North and West Yorkshire in a variety of roles and is currently seconded to the National Police Wellbeing Service.  Yvonne has a particular interest in shift work, driver fatigue and performance impairment, along with overall wellbeing.  Yvonne has completed her doctorate entitled 'Shift workers, fatigued driving and the impact on road safety – An investigation involving police service employees'. 

Yvonne is clearly driven to understand this area of wellbeing and in this conversation with Alexis, we discuss the research, the impact of fatigue, why it is important to know more and where to find further support and information.

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Episode 4: Dave Brewster

Having joined Metropolitan Police Service in 1992 and served operationally in many different roles, Dave is now seconded to the National Police Wellbeing Service (Oscar Kilo) as the national Operation Hampshire Co-ordinator.

In the most recent 12 months figures there were around 37,000 assaults on Police recorded in the UK, an increase of 20-25% on the previous year. Operation Hampshire is essential in informing a meaningful response to these incidents to ensure officers and staff are supported as victims of crime.

Op Hampshire is a project bringing improvements in our response to assaults on police officers and staff. It is based around a strategic themes including leadership, wellbeing, investigation, criminal justice and organisational learning. The model has been identified as good practice by the National Police Chiefs' Council and College of Policing and is supported by the Police Federation in England & Wales (PFEW) and UNISON.

As you’ll hear in this conversation with Alexis, Dave is passionate about, and absolutely believes, policing colleagues deserve the best levels of wellbeing support and victim care.

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Episode 5: Andy Rhodes OBE

Andy Rhodes is the former Chief Constable of Lancashire Police and together with Dr Ian Hesketh founded Oscar Kilo the National Police Wellbeing Service in 2015. Oscar Kilo is now a government funded service supporting over 200,000 police personnel and Andy has been appointed as the service director.  Andy is a previous counter terrorism firearms commander and a member of the international INVICTM group leading on workforce welfare support. He is the convenor of a global special interest group on trauma informed practice under the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA).

In this two-part conversation, Alexis and Andy discuss the importance of the National Police Wellbeing Service, how it began, why Andy is passionate about wellbeing in policing, touching on his own experiences and the impact the service is having in providing research, effective services, how it is changing the conversation, perceptions and expectations of wellbeing in policing.

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Episode 6: Colin Lewis MBE

Colin left school at 16 and spent five years with the Royal Navy Submarine Service before joining Merseyside Police. He retired as an Inspector in 2015 following a very rewarding career.

After a year at home, Colin decided that he had plenty still to contribute and became a registrar of births, deaths and marriages. In 2019, he joined the National Police Wellbeing Service to manage the Outreach Service (Wellbeing Vans).

In this conversation with Alexis, Colin describes his passion for the outreach services he and his team provide to police officers and staff often when they need the support the most. The team are highly driven (no pun intended!) providing support all over the United Kingdom. The team pride themselves on their service to customers and ability to solve a problem. The fleet has reached over 50,000 individuals since 2019 and supported the front line at a large number of major events and incidents.

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