A team from Cheshire Constabulary will be taking on a 26.2 mile walk this weekend to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing within the emergency services.
More than 30 officers and staff will be joining in with the walk from Chester Police Station to Warrington Ambulance Station on Saturday, May 13 as part of the Our Blue Light Mental Health Torch Relay.
The date of the walk coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 8 to 14.
The national torch relay launched in Blackpool last month and is now travelling around the country.
It was handed over from Merseyside Tunnel Police to Cheshire Constabulary on Sunday, May 7 ahead of the walk this weekend, which will aim to help raise awareness of the charities Mind and Heads Together.
The relay finishes back at Blackpool on September 23 with a Charity Ball at Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
Our Blue Light aims to improve the mental health, wellbeing and working life of emergency and essential services including police, fire, ambulance, search and rescue, prison service and the NHS.
Cheshire Constabulary was also recently named as a ‘Mindful Employer’ and has signed a charter for employers who are positive about mental health, demonstrating its commitment to the mental wellbeing of staff.
Cheshire Constabulary senior HR manager Jo Jones will be taking part in the walk.
She said: “The key aim of Our Blue Light Mental Health Torch Relay is to get our colleagues and the public talking about mental health.
“We want to continue to challenge the stigma around mental health and create healthy workplaces across the country where people know that it’s ok to talk about how they feel.
“The walk itself will be a big challenge, but we are really looking forward to it and have a team of people who are committed to raising awareness for these wonderful causes.
“We are also delighted to have become a ‘Mindful Employer’ which continues our commitment to show a positive and enabling attitude towards providing support for people with mental health issues in the workplace.”
Cheshire Constabulary Deputy Chief Constable Janette McCormick added: “As a Force we are in full support of the Our Blue Light Mental Health Torch Relay.
“It’s vitally important that we give our officers and staff space to talk about their issues to help prevent the build up of any mental health problems.
“Events like this help to get people talking and highlight the fact that there is plenty of support available for anyone who has concerns about mental health.
“I wish everyone involved in the relay across the country the best of luck.”
For more information about Our Blue Light visit www.ourbluelight.com/