Breathing space room at Bedfordshire Police HQ  Andrea Breitenbach (left) and the PCC Image: Bedfordshire Police

PCC’s boost for the wellbeing of officers and staff

As part of her bid to boost wellbeing in the force, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Kathryn Holloway, has created a dedicated relaxation space at Police HQ. It will enable officers, staff and call handlers to take a few minutes out after particularly traumatic events.

The old ground floor rest area has been refurbished after an initial request to the PCC from the Force Control Room team.

Commissioner Holloway said:

“Across the corporate world where I used to work, improving working conditions for staff especially in communal areas and providing them with a space for a few moments’ respite if their job is stressful, is seen as a hugely important factor in relation to morale and even in helping to improve the physical and mental health of the workforce.

“This is most definitely not a waste of money but a modest and well deserved investment in our officers and staff and I was entirely clear that this is part of my duty of care to all of them even before the publication of this month’s Front Line Review urging forces to take wellbeing more seriously.”

The quiet and welcoming space allows staff to gather their thoughts during or after a long or particularly difficult shift, in comfortable surroundings. It has been furnished to create a calming ambience with appropriate furniture, pictures, plants and soft lighting.

Bedfordshire Police’s Wellbeing Co-Ordinator, Andrea Breitenbach, said:

“The Breathing Space room looks amazing and we have our PCC to thank for that. It will provide our workforce with a quiet space that can be used when some time out is needed.

“As part of the Force’s Wellbeing Agenda, further break out areas are being modernised, and I look forward to working closely with the PCC’s office to improve the wellbeing provisions for our staff.”

Commissioner Holloway said how grateful she is to local stores who have helped her to create the ‘Breathing Space’ with free goods or substantial discounts. She said:

“I would like to single out the fantastic management team at Bedford’s Dunelm Mill and Homesense stores for their help with the chairs, lighting, pictures and other accessories and to the team at Gibbs and Dandy in Dallow Road, Luton for discounting paint and decorating materials. Without them this would not have worked out as it has.”