Our Blue Light
950. Dan Farnworth
951. Rich Morton
Dan Farnworth and Rich Morton, from Blackpool, are paramedics who founded ‘Our Blue Light’ to support the mental health and wellbeing of fellow emergency services personnel.
Dan was inspired to act after experiencing PTSD following a traumatic 999 call. He set up the charity with Rich to bring together police officers, NHS staff, search and rescue staff and firefighters and break down the stigma that can surround mental health in the workplace.
Dan and Rich stage a variety of events including a fundraising ball, mental health relay and an annual ‘Dance Your Blues Away’ contest to provide safe spaces for discussions about mental health amongst colleagues. They train emergency service employees and volunteers to become ‘Blue Light Champions’ equipped with the skills to provide informal support and raise awareness of mental wellbeing in the workplace. Dan and Rich were invited to share their story with TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as part of the ‘Heads Together’ campaign.
As part of the celebrations for the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, volunteers who are making a real difference within the health and care sector are being recognised over seven days by the Prime Minister. Dan and Rich were invited to an NHS70 roundtable and official reception at No.10 Downing Street on the 4th July, where they were presented with their certificates by the Prime Minister.
In a personal letter to Dan, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“I want to pay tribute to the important work you are doing to promote positive mental health for the men and women at the forefront of our National Health Service and colleagues across the emergency services. Through ‘Our Blue Light’ you and Richard are starting conversations that support and save lives, raising awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace.”
In a personal letter to Rich, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You have shown an inspirational commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of colleagues across the NHS and our emergency services. ‘Our Blue Light’ is breaking down the stigma that can too often surround conversations about mental health in the workplace.”
Dan and Rich said:
“We are very honoured to be accepting a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister for our work to do with Health and Wellbeing for Emergency and Essential services, and looking forward to build a better and healthier future for #OurBlueLight colleagues.”
Pictured below: Rich Morton meeting the Prime Minister at the NHS70 Roundtable and Reception, No.10 Downing Street