Cambs cops called to open up thanks to first wellbeing dog

Cambridgeshire police wellbeing dog Holly in Huntingdon HQ

Six-year-old labrador Holly will be on hand as Cambridgeshire police's first wellbeing dog. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

Police officers in Cambridgeshire will be able to talk more openly about their feelings to improve their mental health thanks to a new arrival. 

Six-year-old labrador Holly will be on hand as Cambridgeshire police’s first wellbeing dog at a launch event next week. 

Holly's aim will be to provide a calming environment where officers and staff can talk about their feelings in a bid to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness. 

Deputy chief constable Jane Gyford said: "The nature of policing means officers and staff often experience stressful and difficult situations.

"These can cause both immediate and long-lasting effects on our mental and physical health. 

"I will be delighted to welcome Holly to the force and I believe she will be a real asset in helping many of us open up."   

Holly has already undergone training, including an assessment to ensure she meets the standards of a wellbeing and trauma support dog by the College of Policing. 

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PC Paul Roe, a trained wellbeing champion alongside Inspector Paul Law, said: "Holly has been my dog since she was a puppy and I have been very open in talking about how much she helped me when I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder a few years ago. 

"During Holly's training, I have had the pleasure of witnessing how she encourages people to open up and discuss experiences that have impacted their mental wellbeing.   

"I can't wait for our adventures to begin in this role and I look forward to getting out there with Holly and meeting as many colleagues as possible.”