Call handlers treated to special visit from Barney the therapy dog to boost well-being
28 Oct | 13:28

Our amazing call handlers were paid a special visit by one of the Force’s most treasured four-legged friends - as International Control Room week came to a close.

Trained therapy dog Barney and his owner Heidi stopped by our Northern Communications Centre in Ponteland to bring a smile to the faces of our busy call handlers.

The seven-year-old former rescue dog is no stranger to the Force, having visited our call handlers before as part of a new initiative to boost the mental health and wellbeing of staff exposed to distressing and emotional situations.

Always on hand for a quick pat or a cuddle – the Collie-Labrador cross has received nothing but praise for his paw-some presence and calming demeanour.

Inspector Angela Hewitt from the Primary Investigation Centre said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank Heidi, she comes here as a volunteer with Barney to make us feel better and we want them both to know how much we appreciate their efforts.

“It’s fantastic to have Barney here and to see how much of a big difference he makes in such a short space of time. We deal with some very distressing and difficult situations here and it’s time we recognise the strain the role can put on our people.

“It’s lovely to see the smiles on people’s faces and see the positivity he brings - it’s important to remember we all need a few minutes to compose ourselves after dealing with difficult and stressful situations.”

Barney’s visit followed a week of celebration for International Control Room week, which this year, focused on mental health and wellbeing.

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