Force presents cheque to charity

cambs police present chequeGENEROUS police officers and staff helped raise £798.15 for mental health charity CPSL Mind at Cambridgeshire’s first annual policing awards.

The Safer Cambridgeshire Policing Awards, held at Burgess Hall in St Ives, on Friday (July 14), recognised the outstanding contributions of officers, staff, Specials, volunteers and cadets.

The ceremony was hosted by Reverend Richard Coles and saw a variety of awards presented by the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner, along with award sponsors.

The money, which was raised through a raffle, was presented as a cheque by Chief Constable Alec Wood to Jo Fitzpatrick, Blue Light Wellbeing Community Developer, and Jenny Swain, Blue Light Network Coordinator, from Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) Mind. The Blue Light Programme is a Mind-led initiative that provides support for the emergency services – and has been delivered across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for the past two years.

The cash will be used to provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health challenge.

Mr Wood said: “I take great pride in presenting this cheque to CPSL Mind. The generosity of the force’s officers and staff and their guests was phenomenal and I am delighted with the amount we raised.

“I’m also grateful to our sponsors, who not only helped us fund the evening but made the raffle possible by donating prizes, along with a few of our suppliers.

“Prior to the event we asked the force which charity they wanted to support and CPSL Mind won with 35 per cent of the vote. Knowing the money we raised will be used to improve the lives of people living with mental health problems is amazing.”

CPSL Mind helps one in four people in the UK who experience a mental health problem every year. The money raised will fund their vital work, including the Mind Blue Light Programme.

The sponsors of the awards were: website developers Zengenti, software developers Black Marble, the Police Federation, recruitment agency Reed Business Support, security technology company eTect, education researchers and assessors Cambridge Assessment, and financial services and welfare support provider Police Mutual. Raffle prizes were also donated by Solon Security, Mark Walker Grounds Maintenance, Term Times and Marshall of Cambridge.

Aly Anderson, CEO of CPSL Mind said: “We are extremely grateful to Cambridgeshire Constabulary for this fantastic fundraising in support of our work.  One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any one year and, with demand for our services increasing every year, this donation means a great deal. A huge thank you to everyone who was involved.”

For a variety of reasons, the rate of mental health issues among those working and volunteering in the emergency services is particularly high, she added: “CPSL Mind is very proud to be part of the Blue Light Programme which is raising awareness and tackling stigma across the emergency services, helping staff to look out for each other and spot the early signs of mental distress. Our emergency services do an amazing job looking after others; our work is to support the local staff and volunteer teams in looking after themselves.”