Staff & patients at St Andrews were joined by local dignitaries including Baroness Masham, the Mayor of Harrogate Cllr Nigel Simms and Mayoress Lynne Simms, and Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Barry Dodd CBE, to celebrate the formal opening of the garden.
Baroness Harris, who has a special interest in the police as President of the National Association of Chaplains to the Police and a trustee of the Police Rehabilitation Centre, Flint House, paid special thanks to the staff that work behind the scenes at the PTC, getting officers back to better health & back to work.
Around 2000 serving & retired officers attend St Andrews in Harrogate every year.
During their time here, these officers received police-specific treatment for any on or off duty injury.
More so now than ever, particularly with the increase in violent crime, the life of a police officer is at best stressful and in many cases very dangerous. Although many patients visiting the Treatment Centre come for physiotherapy, there are a number of patients who need support with stress, anxiety and other such conditions. The number of these cases is increasing with at least 20% of patients requiring some support.
Ronnie Macmillan, Head Gardener at The Police Treatment Centre in Castlebrae, designed the Sensory garden at St Andrews with highly scented flowers, touch pots and camomile seat. The garden will provide great value in helping officers to relax during their stay at St Andrews. It will act as a quiet area for personal contemplation and will be of great benefit to these individuals’ recover.
The Sensory Garden is part of a larger project, funded through a grant of £502,000 from LIBOR fines, of which work is continuing around St Andrews. The government has allocated nearly £10m to help support 200,000 emergency services personnel and volunteers, funded through LIBOR fines. This funding is focused on mental health, physical recuperation and bereavement support. It is the first time that LIBOR funding has gone to support emergency services personnel. Over £8m of the funding will go to English charities, with the remaining £1.6m made available to the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governments
In these difficult financial times and as police officer numbers continue to decline they need more than ever before to source new ways of raising money. Your help is needed now more than ever to ensure our police officers continue to receive the best quality care and treatment they so very much deserve. To find out how you can support the Police Treatment Centres, visit www.thepolicetreatmentcentres.org