My initial visit took me from crutches to leaving with a stick. I stupidly thought I was nearly cured and would be back to normal in no time but often that’s not the case. I returned 18 months later and by chance another officer I met on my first visit was still attending. He’d been badly smashed up in a motorcycle accident about 3 years previously, and had only just discarded his stick. He had however made remarkable progress thanks in part to the excellent treatment he received at the centre.
This facility is funded totally by officer contributions from several forces and gifts and legacies from people who like us. The cost is only about 5 pounds per month, which means throughout your career you would contribute to one person’s visit. On retirement you are still eligible for a 7 day visit once a year if referred by your doctor, and it’s nice to catch up with the old timers and hear their stories. It’s fantastic for them to receive such high quality treatment from the caring staff at the centre, especially those recovering from a stroke. It must also take some burden off the NHS. The food is fantastic and the staff working there make it a very healing environment.
I haven’t had a test run of the stress services they provide but it is very much a personal service dependent on your needs, so my spies tell me. There is counselling available and the relaxation class is OK for beginners. I was rather anti social on my last visit I’m afraid, practicing my own anti-stress techniques in seclusion. I think the others had me down as one needing to dry out, but I’m still a closet stress monkey. I needed to make full use of the time to get fully physically fit for crime fighting duty. The staff have worked their magic again and I will be eternally grateful to them as I near full health again.
Those of you who are serving officers please persuade any new officers to contribute to these centre’s. They are only open to those who subscribe through their pay, and some force areas don’t have a great percentage rate for paying in. Large metropolitan force in the middle of UK take note. I never thought I would need it and would have had to rely totally on the NHS when badly injured on duty.
Incidentally the Home Office has allocated 2.5 million pounds this year to Goring and the Northern police rehabilitation site in Harrogate. This is the first time any government money has been granted to these facilities, and it will provide extra spaces. It would appear that we have the ex home secretary Jacquie Smith to thank for this contribution. She has taken much flack the past few months but it is only right and fair to add some balance and say Thank You to her for sorting this out. She didn’t have to and officers in future will benefit from her generous decision.
Of course she did have 20 million of our pounds to dip into from the reneged pay deal the other year. Perhaps if the other 18 million makes it's way back we can draw a line under that episode.
I’ve added some pictures of the centre and surroundings. Nice Isn’t it?