We couldn’t do what we do without our loyal supporters, many of whom volunteer in their spare time to spread the word about us on station, organise fundraisers and drum up vital support.
And one of those volunteers is Rachel Streeting.
Rachel, who’s a firefighter with Warwickshire FRS, has received support at both Jubilee House and Harcombe House following a back injury – and she says it helped her return to operational work, as well as improve her mental wellbeing.
“I’m a firefighter at Nuneaton Fire Station. I joined when I was 16 on an apprenticeship scheme, then went to training school at 18 and have been wholetime ever since,” says Rachel.
“I had a back injury and an operation. I wasn’t sure if my back would recover, whether I’d be strong enough to be operational again and the thought of going into an office for me just wasn’t what I joined the fire service for.
“I went to The Fire Fighters Charity and they helped me out with emotional support and also with physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
“Going there gave me the physical strength but also the mental confidence to be able to carry my job out after recovery.”
Rachel says being on the programmes helped her feel part of a team again, much like on station, and it aided her recovery journey.
She adds: “At both of the centres the staff are absolutely amazing, they’re so warm, welcoming, understanding, they are really good at empathising with you with your injury, with your home life, with any potential financial issues if you’re not working.
“By going to the centres if gave me a set structure, Monday to Friday, that I could follow. I felt part of a team (or Watch essentially) which is what I have operationally, so being part of that again doing lots of physical activities, working on my physical strength and my injury recovery was just second to none.
“The level of support I received from The Fire Fighters Charity is absolutely phenomenal which is why I’m such an advocate for their services… if I hear of anyone being off or anybody that needs support I am one of the first people to say, ‘please contact them, don’t wait until it’s too late, because you’re better to get there early and get whatever issue it is – physical, mental – dealt with sooner rather than later.”
If you feel you’d benefit from mental health support, we may be able to help you. Call our Support Line on 0800 389 8820, make an enquiry online or register for MyFFC now and visit the ‘Access Support’ tab at the top of the MyFFC homepage.
You can also join our ‘Share Your Story’ Group in MyFFC, by clicking on the ‘Groups’ tab, to chat to others who have received our support or enquire about sharing your own story.