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Wellbeing gardens introduced at two Solent fire stations

The wellbeing garden that has been introduced at Redbridge station. Picture credits: Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service

Two fire stations in Hampshire have opened new garden spaces for firefighters to reflect and reduce the impact of work on their wellbeing.

They have been introduced at Redbridge and Havant stations over the last few months for their crews to use.

The Redbridge garden was opened by Chief Fire Officer, Neil Odin in July and includes a pond and new furniture.

Redbridge Station Manager Rob Jenks said:

“I am so proud of what our teams have achieved.

"Everyone who’s attended the opening event agreed that all the hard work has really paid off.

“I’m delighted that we have this fantastic resource, which is open to any member of staff to use at any time.”

The garden space at the Havant station is now being transformed by firefighters and staff at local company Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd.

(The wellbeing garden at Havant station is still in progress. Picture credits: Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service)

A course to improve the health and confidence of students aged 11 or 12 has also been funded by the organisation, called 'A Better Me'.

Havant Crew Manager Simon Morford said:

“The entire crew at Havant Fire Station are so grateful for Apollo’s sponsorship of our ‘A Better Me’ course.

"Working together will mean that we can support these young people and empower them.

"They’ll gain confidence, learn valuable life skills, and have amazing life experiences. In the process, encouraging positivity and self-respect.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) are showing their commitment to support staff suffering from trauma.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Apter said:

“I am hugely proud of the strides our organisation has made in terms of raising awareness of mental health issues and supporting our colleagues.

“The outstanding work that has gone into designing, building and maintaining these tranquil spaces shows the wellbeing of our staff really is at the heart of everything we do.

“The gardens represent an essential area on station which allows our people to take time away from the challenges they face each day.”

HFRS launched their Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) assessments in 2016 to encourage firefighters to talk about incidents they have seen, to combat against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The service is training more of their staff in becoming Mental Health First Aiders alongside other events during Mental Health Awareness Week, including a charity five-a-side football tournament called 'Tackling Stigma'.

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