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Veteran's peer support programme

Ill-health retirement is a difficult, traumatic, and emotionally challenging process to come to terms with that leaves many people feeling they are alone.

That's why Police Care UK has launched a new peer-support programme to help you through it.

What is the peer-support programme?

We know from responses to the Injury on Duty research published by Police Care UK that police veterans who are subject to ill-health retirement have found getting the support they need difficult or non-existent.

Some comments from those affected include, "feeling thrown on the scrapheap", and "...[I'm] just a number...". Respondents also talked extensively about not getting the chance to fulfil their vocation. Others talked about the lengthy assessment and decision-making process that left them feeling isolated, vulnerable, and staring into the unknown.

Police Care UK cannot directly affect the process, but what we can do is better support those undergoing the ill-health retirement process, and use these lessons to influence future guidance on the process as a whole. Police Care UK believes that more attention should be given to those who are about to become police veterans, so that the same opportunities exist for all those leaving the service irrespective of circumstance or situation. That is one of the reaons why we are creating the Police veterans peer-support programme.

Enable people to obtain practical information on how to cope, through the experience of others.

Reduce the feeling of isolation, through the provision of emotional support from peers and professionals.

Enable people to recover and rebuild their lives having transitioned from the service.

Make a referral

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the veteran peer-support programme, please complete this referral form.

Why is this support needed?

The facts: Injury on duty

47% of respondents who left the police service because of an injury said it was a work-related psychological or mental health issue, and 35% said they were still experienceing PTSD. Veterans also cited issues relating to the support from line manage-ment whilst still employed, but many also felt that support was lacking once they had left the Police Service.

Pete's story

When you loved being a police officer like I did, being forced to leave the job is like having your legs chopped from underneath you. In 1989 I was retired because of ill health and at 41 it felt like I was thrown on the scrap heap.

Read more

Become a peer supporter

This project will only be able to succeed with the help of dedicated peer supporters who are polie veterans who have been ill-health retired themselves. If you meet this criteria, and want to know more about becomming a peer supporter, we have a number of introduction days that will help explain in more detail what the role is and what you'll be doing.

If you are interested, and do not live in the north-west, then click here to send an email to the peer-support project coordinator to express an interest in your area.

17th July, Warrington

Year 1: Pilot phase

We are beginning with a pilot region covering the North-West, that includes the Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and Lancashire area.

Why a pilot? This is an entirely new concept in the UK, and it is the first time that Police Care UK has run a peer-support initiative like this.

We are taking the learnings from other successful peer-support initiatives, both here and abroad, that operate in policing and other areas, such as the military. But we are also wanting to understand the experiences of our volunteer peer-supporters, and those using this new service so that we know what works best, and how we can make this more relevant to UK police veterans.

It is our intention to expand this service so that, in time, there will be UK coverage of our veterans peer-support programme. We will update you more on this in summer 2020.

Make a referral

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the veteran peer-support programme, please complete this referral form.

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