Cambridgeshire Police welcomes the force’s first wellbeing dog

Cambridgeshire Police’s very first wellbeing dog will be welcomed to the policing family with open arms at a launch event next week.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 11:37 am

Following a host of training courses, six-year-old Labrador Holly will officially be on hand to spread some paw-sitivity to colleagues feeling ruff!

Research has shown that dogs can have a “magic” effect on mental health, by helping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Holly hopes to achieve just that by providing a calming environment where officers and staff can talk openly about how they are feeling.

Any department or individual who has gone through, or is experiencing, traumatic or challenging events can bid for time with Holly. She will come with either owner PC Paul Roe or Inspector Paul Law, who are both trained wellbeing champions and passionate about discussing and improving mental health across the constabulary.

Deputy Chief Constable Jane Gyford said: “The very nature of policing means officers and staff all too often experience particularly stressful and difficult situations which can easily cause both immediate and long lasting effects on our mental and physical health.

“Our dedicated wellbeing network has been working tirelessly over recent months to provide as much support and assistance as possible to ensure we create working environments which welcome conversations about how we are feeling or how something has impacted us.

“I will be delighted to officially welcome Holly to the force next week and I believe she will be a real asset in helping many of us open up.”

PC Paul Roe added: “The lovely Holly has been my dog since she was a puppy and I have been very open in talking about how much she helped me when I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder a few years ago.

“Throughout recent months, during Holly’s training, I have had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand how she encourages people to open up and discuss experiences that have impacted their mental wellbeing.

“The saying, It’s Good to Talk, has never been so important and I’m hoping Holly can continue to support others, as she has done with me.

“I can’t wait for our adventures to begin in this role and I look forward to getting out there with Holly and meeting as many colleagues as possible.”

Holly has undergone training, including an assessment to ensure she meets the standards of a wellbeing and trauma support dog by the College of Policing, and is safe to be on force premises and around staff.

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