Over 200 delegates from across the UK policing sector attended the Upbeat! Conference on Tuesday 13th March, hosted by the Police Dependant’s Trust, the NPCC and Oscar Kilo.

Featuring keynote speeches from former Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent John Sutherland, neuropsychologist Dr. Jess Miller, trauma expert Dr. Noreen Tehrani and Dr Ian Hesketh of the College of Policing, the delegates heard about the impact of trauma on individuals both from an educational and a personal perspective.

The day also featured an input from Chief Constable South Wales Police, Matt Jukes who talked about the links between emotional wellbeing and physical activity. This was followed by a number of quick fire sessions from different forces who shared detail about wellbeing initiatives they have launched in their force and what has worked (and what hasn’t) to encourage organisations to learn from each other.

Notably, an update was given by Chief Constable Andy Rhodes about a plan to deliver more work to improve the wellbeing offer to police nationally. Mr Rhodes said, “We know from a wealth of research that wellbeing done badly is worse than not doing wellbeing at all – it wastes effort and can actually make people trust you less and feel less valued if the rhetoric is not backed up by reality.”

He went on to say, “We are excited about a brand new programme of work that will assist police forces in building their capability for supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff, working with police leaders, managers and occupational health services.”

Trust Chief Executive Gill Scott-Moore said, “Wellbeing needs to be put at the heart of decision-making, and not considered as an afterthought. There are too many cases of people not getting the help and support they need, which has a long-term impact on their individual wellbeing as well as impacting on force capacity and capability. That’s why we are working closely with the NPCC to deliver this and will hold the service to account to ensure it delivers real welfare that works.”

Mr Rhodes added, “Annual events such as these held by the Police Dependants’ Trust, the NPCC and Oscar Kilo will help to inform and shape the wider wellbeing agenda so that everyone working for us feels the benefits. There is no point putting all of this effort in at this level however if it doesn’t filter through to those who need support and to everyone else who works for us – all of whom deserve to feel like they are cared about by the organisation they work for. We know we need to engage everyone in wellbeing from senior leaders through to the frontline, to the office, and academia to provide a world-class wellbeing offer for everyone working for us.”


We’ll be featuring more information from the conference and the feedback we have received here on Oscar Kilo and on the Police Dependent’s Trust website.