Cleveland Police, emergency services and partners come together on World Mental Health Day 2019 to donate £3,600 to Redcar and Cleveland Mind

Cleveland Police organised a charity Blue Light Way walk in June to break down stigma and discrimination of mental health within emergency services and the wider communities we live and work in.

WMHD The walk was also in memory of our fallen colleagues from the emergency services who we have sadly lost over the last few years. This year was the third year we have organised this event and it has gone from strength to strength in numbers and support from our local community partners. The walk itself was 20.5 miles of the Cleveland Way which covered the route from Whitby whale bones to Saltburn sea front.

The emergency services within Cleveland have worked very closely with Redcar and Cleveland Mind, who have been the local providers of the Mind ‘Blue Light programme’ – a national initiative to support emergency services personnel with their mental health and wellbeing due to the nature of their jobs.

Inspector Phil Spencer, Blue Light & wellbeing co-ordinator said: “I was humbled with the response we had this year from people wanting to walk with us or to volunteer with transport or assisting at check points. We set off with nearly 100 walkers on what can only be described as the hottest day of the year!

“Not only did we have representatives from other emergency services, we also had numerous community partners with us which shows the commitment and passion there is to support people with mental health in the local area.

“I wanted to give something back to the wonderful people at Redcar and Cleveland Mind so decided that this year we would raise donations for them. Our target was £2,500, so to get this amount is brilliant! This year was also poignant due to the loss of colleagues from the emergency services and we wanted to remember those colleagues and friends - so this walk was in memory of them

“On World mental health Day, I would like to urge everyone to look after your mates, colleagues, friends, family and the wider community and ask them ‘How are you doing today’? It is also just as important that you look after yourself and reach out if you need to talk.

“I would like to thank all of those who made this event a success including Cleveland Police, IOPCC, Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team, Cleveland fire & rescue, Cleveland Police cadets, Yorkshire Ambulance service, Staithes Coastguard, Tesco at Redcar, Skelton Coaches, ICL Boulby, Unison Cleveland Branch, Addaction Redcar, Sopra Steria and the many volunteers who helped organise the whole event.”