Police Mutual’s £2.4m investment to improve wellbeing of Police and Military in 2016

In 2016, our 150th anniversary year, Police Mutual made a £2.4m investment to improve the wellbeing of the Police and Military families throughout the UK.

The £2.4m was delivered through financial education, Police and Military Foundations, event sponsorships and charity support. In addition, we gave members access to great value products and services, saving an average of £1,674, which equates to an effective pay increase of 4.4%.

In a 90 page report ‘Making a difference to Police and Military lives’, we have tracked over 70 indicators across four elements it identifies as contributing to wellbeing: financial, physical, mental and community.

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Police Mutual Chief Executive, Stephen Mann comments: “This annual “stock check” gives a clear picture of the difference we made in 2016 and is a benchmark to do more in 2017. Our purpose is to improve the lives of the Police and the Military families. This is not an empty promise but our key measure of success as we seek to improve the wellbeing of those who protect us today.”

Psychotherapist and LBC's relationship expert, Lucy Beresford says: “There’s no doubt that with the Police and Military, we’re talking about two professions needing to cope on a daily basis with high pressures and stress. Using its understanding of financial products and its affinities Police Mutual Group understands how financial security contributes to an individual’s wellbeing and their overall resilience to life’s ups and downs. The Group is not a direct employer of the Police and Military personnel, but what it achieves in its broad focus on physical health, financial security, mental health and community support positively influences the wellbeing of the communities it serves, which span not just serving personnel but their wider households and families. Police Mutual Group is developing a gold standard which other organisations and industries should find inspiring.”

Financial wellbeing – financial security is vital for a happy life
Financial security is central to a person’s overall wellbeing and positive contributing factors include building up and making savings and avoiding debt. In 2016, we delivered:

•    1,800 financial education courses, helping around 20,000 members of the Police family with their finances, and 273 presentations reaching over 5,000 people in the Military. 92% of Police and 80% of Military course attendees said they felt better equipped to make financial decisions for their future.
•    81% of those we asked in the Police family are saving regularly. Over 3,800 new members started the savings habit, and in total we paid out £63.7m on maturing plans.   
•    £794,000 savings on mortgage advice fees for Police and £545,500 for Military (£500 per person on average) and a whole of market mortgage service.
•    Debt consolidation loans which save members an average of £101 on debt repayments each month.

Physical wellbeing – remaining fit and healthy is essential for physically demanding jobs and long, fulfilling lives
Understanding the demanding roles of Police and Military personnel, we have helped members prevent serious future health concerns:

•    Funding 4,100 free mobile health screenings for Police which saw 83% of those screened say they are very or quite likely to take action as a result.
•    70% of active Wellbeing Zone members increased their exercise levels and 70% of smokers reduced the amount they smoke.
•    Our 16,000 Healthcare members typically complete their hospital treatment 14 weeks earlier than they would have on the NHS.
•    4,679 Military members are covered by Vitality Life life insurance and serious illness cover, 85% of whom say they are working to be healthier.
•    Funded free respite breaks for 118 families, which saw average wellbeing scores improve significantly.

Community wellbeing – where you work and live
Beyond the individual, family and friends, we know that wider and workplace communities are also vital for wellbeing.

In 2016 we donated £100,000 to our Force for Good community wellbeing projects supported 1,103 initiatives while our BeFit4Life roadshow visited 28 Police stations in 14 forces bringing tools, tips and wellbeing support to over 14,500 Officers and Staff at their place of work and providing:

•    236 free financial education sessions
•    1,185 free mobile health screenings
•    27 free mortgage advice surgeries.

Forces Mutual ran a photography competition to capture genuine Military moments that would never be seen by the wider world and continue to sponsor sporting events such as the Army Sports Control Board Hockey team’s flights and travel insurance to a competition in Barbados.

Mental wellbeing – as important as physical
We work with stakeholders and individuals to put mental wellbeing firmly on the agenda and runs a range of interventions including:

•    Funding patient advisers in the Police Treatment Centres in Harrogate and Scotland; funding a trained counsellor for the North West Benevolent Fund Lodge in Lancashire; providing funding to Lancashire Constabulary to develop a Wellbeing Toolkit that has been issued to 5,000 people.
•    Supporting the development of a Mental Health Champion Network and funding educational programmes on mental health awareness and mindfulness.
•    Forces Mutual developed Forces Run, a free, non-violent game with no purchase temptations which encourages team work and provides a positive R&R opportunity, and arranged 5,145 leisure bookings for 12,488 passengers including a trip to Orlando for a terminally ill child and his family.

Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM, Former President, Association of Chief Police Officers and President, Police Mutual comments: “I am very proud to be associated with an organisation that puts the financial and personal wellbeing of Police and Military employees and their families at the heart of everything it does.”

Stephen Mann, Chief Executive Police Mutual says: “We know that those that put their lives on the line to keep us safe have jobs like no other. In turn we have to make our organisation like no other and our focus on improving their lives makes us very different to others and is our way of showing support for what the Police and Military do. We have made a start but there is much more we can do in 2017...”

We recently asked our members about personal challenges for 2017 and responses ranged from ‘planning a wedding’; to ‘not eating too much cheese’; ‘helping a daughter recover from depression’; ‘being a carer for a parent with Alzheimer’s’ and 'paying off debt following my divorce and spending time with my son.’

Although it acknowledged many of the stresses and strains within the service, the research found a generally upbeat picture of life in the Police family. Over 60% gave a score of 8–10 (where 10 is the maximum) in response to the three questions ‘To what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile?’; ‘How happy did you feel yesterday?’ and ‘How satisfied are you with your life currently?’   

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