Mental health walking group set up in Coventry in memory of police officer - The Coventry Observer

Mental health walking group set up in Coventry in memory of police officer

Coventry Editorial 18th Feb, 2024   0

A WALKING group has been set up in memory of a late police officer who took his own life, to support men’s mental health.

West Midlands Police PC Dan Phillips created the group as a tribute to his friend and colleague PC Marc Forth, who died in April.

Back and Forth – Men’s Mental Health after PC Forth was set up for male officers in West Midlands Police, but in the space of three months, the group have over 800 followers on Facebook and attracted walkers from outside the force.

Dan, who is based in Coventry and has been a police officer for 22 years, said: “Marc was a good friend of ours and his death hit home hard.

“I’ve faced issues myself in the past and I’ve always been out and taking the dogs for a walk and I’ve found it cleared my head.

“I decided to set a group up, initially for male colleagues in West Midlands Police.

“We don’t have to talk about anything in particular but just get out in the fresh air, a bit of walking and talking and making friends and meeting people you might not necessarily come across when you’re at work.

“And we’ve had so many people outside the job find out about it and want to get involved, so I’ve opened it up to any bloke who wants to come and have a walk.”

The group has been meeting at Coombe Abbey Country Park in Coventry on Sunday mornings, but there are plans to add more days and more routes.

Dan added: “In the long run I’d like to register the group as a charity, with the idea being we could do some sponsored walks, raise some money, and put it to use sending groups of blokes on small breaks together so they can get away but are not on their own.”

Visit the Back and Forth – Men’s Mental Health Facebook page for more information.


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