Firefighter’s ‘Stroll and Speak’ success story to enhance males’s psychological well being and fight loneliness

Forward of Psychological Well being Consciousness Week (Monday 9 to Sunday 15 Could), when the main focus is on attaining good psychological well being and the theme for 2022 is loneliness, we’re celebrating the achievements of 1 firefighter who has arrange a strolling group for males.

Dean Corney, from Beckenham White Watch, who has struggled along with his personal psychological well being up to now, is celebrating eight months since a gaggle of colleagues arrange a weekly males’s psychological well being strolling group for firefighters, which helps them to speak about no matter could also be troubling them.  

Following the profitable launch, which has seen round 40 new members be a part of the group, Dean is interesting to extra males to hitch in as a approach to really feel good and fight loneliness.


The group meet each week on a Tuesday morning at a park in Beckenham. Every stroll is normally round 5 to 10 males.

The scheme has been such a triumph that ‘stroll and speak’ teams have been arrange by firefighters elsewhere, together with in Richmond Park and Hampstead Heath. In truth, phrase has unfold exterior the Brigade and different blue gentle service workers are additionally now attending periods. The success of the walks is just not confined to London. A bunch has not too long ago been arrange in Herne Bay and Dean and his workforce are receiving requests for recommendation on organising related ventures across the UK, together with most not too long ago from South Yorkshire Fireplace and Rescue Service.

Dean explains why he initially arrange the ‘Stroll and Speak 999’ teams: “About three years in the past a gaggle of us had been speaking concerning the male suicide charge and the way males in our line of labor, and generally, don’t discuss their psychological well being. We talked about why we thought that was, the potential limitations and methods we may encourage dialog to attempt to assist break the stigma.

“I realised, really, I don’t discuss something. I’ve had my very own struggles with psychological well being and I’m a giant advocate for getting individuals to speak, however I wasn’t doing it myself. I assumed, what number of extra individuals aren’t speaking?

“We rapidly deduced that there wasn’t anyplace for males who work in the identical line of labor as us to go, even when they needed to speak, apart from the Brigade’s Counselling and Wellbeing service. Not everybody needs or wants that, so we needed to supply one thing casual as an early intervention the place males can chat to others in the identical job in a relaxed setting.

“Some males really feel like they’re on their very own, so simply having the chance to get out of the home and are available see us is a large increase. We’ve had walkers on long run sick go away who’ve gone again to work after attending our walks.

“We’re so please with all of the assist and the quantity of individuals turning up and contacting us as we needed to get the conversations began round psychological well being and this exhibits it’s taking place which is implausible.”  


Kate Bonham, Assistant Director for Folks Companies on the Brigade, mentioned: “We provide a counselling service that operates across the clock and any workers member can get in contact with us and speak if they should. However teams like this, the place individuals can get out within the contemporary air and open up amongst their friends, are invaluable too. Dean and everybody else concerned are an actual credit score and doing a implausible job of enhancing the psychological well being of males within the emergency companies and armed forces.”

The group was arrange by Dean and London Fireplace Brigade colleagues Sally Brookes, Annabel Inexperienced, and Rebecca Dingvean. Mark Smith leads the weekly stroll alongside Dean.

The group all the time welcomes new members. If any males within the emergency companies or armed forces want to discover out extra, comply with the group on Twitter @WalkandTalk999 or Instagram @WalkandTalk999. For these serious about organising their very own stroll and needing steering, e-mail:

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