The last year has seen us reach more beneficiaries than ever before – and that’s all thanks to our supporters who have donated and fundraised throughout.

We’ve introduced a series of new programmes, developed our existing offering and supported thousands of people in our fire services community through a wide range of online resources.

A focus on wellness

In January, we started the year with a series of wellness webinars covering everything from managing stress to nutrition, cost of living support and developing personal resilience.

Alongside these webinars, we continued to offer our beneficiaries exclusive access to our online courses – which are now available on our website here. These range in length from bitesize through to six-weeks, so you can choose how in-depth you go with each topic.

Online courses

Financial support

Meanwhile, the start of the year also saw many households continuing to seek support with their finances, particularly as cost of living increases remained a concern. We continued our partnership with Payplan and shared several blogs, articles and online tools to support families and individuals in our fire family throughout the year.

Specialised programmes

Alongside our usual physical rehabilitation, Reset, nursing and Rest and Recharge stays, as well as our online programmes and workshops, we held a number of specialised programmes at our three centres over the second half of the year.

These included everything from specific family weeks and retirement-focused programmes through to Control Room Reset weeks and trauma weeks.

We also rolled out several more Kickstart Programmes which are held at our centres over 4-5 days and aim to support you in making a positive lifestyle change or improvement, whether that be working on your fitness, diet or overall wellbeing.

Residential programmes calendar

Launch of research into fire sector health and wellbeing

In May we shared the results of extensive research which surveyed more than 3,000 UK fire and rescue service personnel and found that mental wellbeing across the service is being impacted by issues such as sleep disruption, occupational stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression.

Carried out by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and commissioned by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and The Fire Fighters Charity, findings also suggested that increased length of career – not related to age – is associated with experiencing more mental wellbeing challenges.

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Suicide prevention and postvention resources

And just a few months later, we proudly launched a new suite of online suicide prevention and postvention resources, aimed at reducing the number of deaths by suicide across the UK’s fire services community.

Created in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University – and following the extensive research into the health and wellbeing of the fire sector – the new online resources include accessible, practical and evidence-based help for those considering suicide, or worried about someone who may be.

See them here:

Suicide prevention and postvention

Launch of 24/7 Crisis Line

fire fighters charity crisis line number 0300 3730896

On November 1, at the Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium, we launched a new 24/7 crisis line to directly address suicide amongst present and past fire service personnel.

The Crisis Line – 0300 373 0896 – is supported by The Royal Foundation and comes in response to an identified gap in provision and to directly support fire service personnel at a point of crisis.

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More Hope Programmes delivered

We continued to support more beneficiaries on our online Hope Programmes, which are designed to help build resilience and combat stress and anxiety.

The programmes, which we run in partnership with social enterprise Hope for the Community, are six-week online group self-management programmes which cover topics like: managing stress, smarter goal setting, gratitude, character strengths, physical activity, eating well, coping with fatigue, practicing mindfulness, communication and relationships.

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Wellbeing workshops

And our Wellness and Behaviour Change Coaches continued working directly with individual Fire and Rescue Services to deliver wellbeing workshops to staff, depending on their specific needs.

One of these includes a Wellbeing Into Retirement Workshop, which aims to help anyone approaching retirement manage the transition out of working life. We also now offer a two-part version of this, which is delivered across two days (two hours each day).

You can find out more about other workshops available to your FRSs here:

Wellness Coaching

Here’s a glimpse at the last financial year (22-23) in numbers:

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