Taking up the baton to promote mental health awareness

29 Aug 2017

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is to take up the baton of promoting mental health awareness across the county.

The Our Blue Light Torch relay is making its way across the UK’s emergency services and on Saturday, September 2 the baton will be handed over by bike from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to NFRS, along with colleagues from Northumbria Police.

Our Blue Light started in the north west of England with the specific aim of raising mental health awareness across all emergency services including fire, police, ambulance, search and rescue, the Prison Service and the NHS.

The arrival of the torch relay heralds the start of a week of NFRS awareness raising events in Northumberland, including a cycle ride, demonstrations of the service’s swift water rescue techniques and a walk from Craster to Bamburgh, which people are welcome to attend.

At the end of the week the torch relay will pass to colleagues from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and will also make an appearance at the Great North Run.

Station Manager Andy Davison from NFRS said: “Recent high profile incidents in London and elsewhere have really highlighted the work of the emergency services and the challenges and stresses we face on a daily basis.

“While the service already offers a range of support to promote both physical and mental wellbeing, it’s important we continue to realise that mental health issues can affect everyone and this relay is a great way of getting the message out there.”

Councillor John Riddle, Chair of Northumberland Fire Authority, added: “While working in the fire service is one of the most rewarding jobs, by its very nature it can be stressful.

“Their health and welfare is an absolute priority and we are delighted to be involved in this torch relay and awareness raising events.”

Anyone interested in joining the awareness raising walk on Thursday, September 7 can contact Andy Davison on (01670) 621186 or via andy.davison@northumberland.gov.uk

More information on the work of the charity is available via www.ourbluelight.com