Cleveland Police Inspector Nominated for Two Awards

A Cleveland Police Inspector has been nominated for two awards for his contribution towards raising awareness of mental health and dementia in the emergency services.

Insp Spencer Inspector Phil Spencer volunteered to be the Force’s Blue Light Programme Coordinator after it was recognised in 2015 that some emergency services personnel were struggling with their mental health and wellbeing due to the stress caused by the incidents they attend.

He has now been nominated for a Diversity Champion Award at The Excellence in Diversity Awards and a Voice & Influence Award at the Catalyst Achievement Awards 2018.

Phil works closely with partners including mental health charity Mind to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing amongst emergency services personnel. He created a Blue Light network of agencies, involving the RNLI and Mountain Rescue teams, and pulled together a group of Blue Light ‘champions’ within the Force who are passionate about supporting colleagues through difficult times.

He also leads the way for protecting vulnerable people with dementia and has worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Society to ensure that Cleveland Police is a ‘dementia friendly organisation’.

Over 1000 staff have received training to become ‘dementia friends’ and four local care homes have become ‘safe havens’ for those people with dementia that come into contact with police. The Herbert Protocol was also introduced, to speed up the process of gaining vital details of missing people with dementia.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless said: “Phil has done some exceptional work with the Alzheimer’s Society and the Blue Light Programme. As such Cleveland Police is now seen as a pioneer amongst other Forces within the Programme. There is no doubt that his dedication and commitment to the role has heightened awareness and benefited officers and staff alongside others in the wider community.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “The emergency services and in particular the police service has a stigma around mental health which needs to be broken down. People need to have the confidence to be able to speak about mental health issues and seek support, not only within the emergency services but within wider communities and I’d like to congratulate Phil for his determination in helping to do this and raise awareness.”

To vote for Phil to win Diversity Champion in the Excellence in Diversity Awards please go to: http://www.excellenceindiversity.co.uk/nominate/

Voting closes on 1st August.