Priti meets with Points of Light winner and hero service dog

Priti meets with Points of Light winner and hero service dog

Published: 26th February 2024 - 10:41 am Category: General News

Witham MP Priti Patel has congratulated retired Police Officer, Mandy Chapman from the Witham constituency, who has received a Prime Minister’s Points of Light award. Ms Chapman received the award for her work in championing the role retired service dogs can continue to play by improving the welfare of Police Officers and Police Staff across Essex.

Mandy Chapman adopted injured police dog, Baloo, in 2018. Baloo was deployed with Essex Police for one year before she was severely injured whilst on a job, resulting in her unable to return to police work. Baloo’s gentle nature with people encouraged Mandy to take her on wellbeing visits, sharing her story and offering a form of comfort to those involved in difficult incidents. Mandy has since undertaken thousands of welfare visits to Police Officers and Police Staff throughout Essex and helped create ‘OK9’, the wellbeing dog unit that has been adopted by the majority of UK Police forces.

Mandy set up ‘The Team Baloo Fund’ in 2020, to support the work that Baloo undertakes, which now includes visits to schools, community projects, care homes, and other organisations, helping to foster positive relations between the public and the police in addition to promoting the importance of wellbeing and mental health.

Congratulating Mandy on her award, Priti said: “Congratulations to my constituent Mandy Chapman, who has been awarded with the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award. As Home Secretary, I saw the immense bravery of our frontline Police officers. They are the bravest and the best of us all in the way they deal with traumatic and often life changing incidents, as they protect us from harm. Mandy’s exceptional work with retired service dogs to support Police Officers and staff through some of the hardest of times is a testament to her dedication to public service and to our frontline officers. Thank you, Mandy, for your dedication and service to our country, both as a Metropolitan Police Officer and in your role supporting OK9.”

Mandy said: “What a wonderful surprise and I’m so happy that this wonderful dog will be highlighted by this prestigious Points Of Light Award. Baloo has changed so many lives and has spread smiles wherever she goes. Her wellbeing role has proven to support Police Officers, Police Staff and the public. It’s been my honour to share her.”

Mandy is the 2273rd recipient of the Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a positive change within their community and inspiring others. Each weekday, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.


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