Officer reaches for olive branch of Benevolent Fund
“I am a serving West Midlands Police officer and whilst on duty I received serious injuries to my leg after being mauled by a dog. In a second incident my hand was badly damaged and after three operations I was forced to have my finger amputated.
“This left me with physical and mental scars and I was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which has been a constant battle.
“Throughout my ordeal the support I received from colleagues within West Midlands Police has been amazing and I couldn’t thank them enough. They have really helped me through the difficult times.
“I have also received tremendous help and support from WMP Benevolent Fund, in particular Roz Payne, who showed empathy and understanding. The Fund was able to help with my finances as this was adding to my anxiety. It was the olive branch I needed.
“Last November I took a turn for the worst, my feelings of helplessness and anxiety began to increase. I felt I couldn’t cope anymore and started to experience suicidal thoughts. I spoke to my Sergeant about how I was feeling and they quickly arranged the support I desperately needed.
“The Benevolent Fund came to my aid again and last month I had the opportunity to stay for five days at St Michaels Lodge, a wonderful convalescence and rehabilitation centre in Lancashire.
“The Lodge, with its beautiful surroundings, is so restful. There are various holistic treatments available including Reiki, massage, reflexology and Pilates. There is also a fully equipped gym and a the state-of-the-art swimming pool that offers hydrotherapy. Physiotherapy sessions can also be booked before your stay.
“You also have the option to take someone with you which is good, very often the people closest to you need the respite just as much.
“I was unsure, at first, of sharing my personal battles with others but now I believe if my experience can help just one other person to reach out and know they’re not alone, it’s worthwhile.
“The Benevolent Fund has been great and I’m so grateful to them for helping me.
“If anyone is experiencing similar feelings, please take comfort from the knowledgeable that there are people willing to help you if you just take the first step and ask.”
Terri Cave, serving officer
Members of the Benevolent Fund, in need of a short convalescence or rehabilitation break, can now benefit from a five day stay at the multi-million pound well being centre.
If you would like more information about WMP Benevolent Fund or St Michael’s Lodge visit www.wmpben.co.uk