Police officers have sung up in solidarity with their colleagues and others facing their own mental health struggles as they raised cash for Mind.
Musically-minded officers from Northumbria Police have shown their support for mental health by releasing a charity single – and they have clearly hit the right note – smashing their £1,000 fundraising target.
They went into The Garage Studios in South Shields to create their own stripped back acoustic cover version of Come Home, which was originally performed by One Republic.
Neighbourhood Officer Peter Burns and Police Community Support Officer Holly Went are two of the officers behind the project, and are delighted with the response they have received.
PCSO Went said: “Mental health impacts everyone, one way or another and we just wanted to do something to show our support.
“We also wanted to raise awareness regarding the impact mental health has on our emergency services and to make sure our colleagues don't feel alone at their time of need.
“The support from the public so far has been amazing.”
The Northern Area officers have been helped by a band of volunteers, including musician Cale Davies, who plays keyboard on the track.
Pc Burns said: “While I am a serving police officer and Holly is a PCSO, the other musicians, studio operators and support has been done by volunteers.
"These are amazing people who were willing to give up their time to help this cause and show their dedication to helping others.”
All the proceeds from the single go directly to Mind, which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
The charity’s Blue Light Programme supports those working in the emergency services.
In addition to the officers and Cale, Kyle Martin was responsible for its audio, Lee Tuck took charge of filming and Winter Media completed its editing.
Northumbria Police and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC signed Mind's Blue Light Time to Change Pledge back in 2016.
As part of that commitment, supervisors across the Force were trained in how to recognise the signs of poor mental health so they can offer advice and support to those who need it, as well as training a number of Blue Light Champions within the workforce who can also offer specialist peer support to colleagues.
All of the work behind the single has been done in the officer’s own time.
For further information about Mind’s Blue Light Programme visit www.mind.org.uk/bluelight.
Donations can be made via www.JustGiving.com/Fundraising/BlueLightSong.
The song is available to purchase or stream via these links: