Meet Team Baloo
The Team Baloo Committee is made up of a wide range of people from the local community who have seen and experience the power that a visit by Baloo can have.
The Committee will be meeting monthly (virtually at the moment!) to look at how Team Baloo can work with projects to fulfil the following aims
- Promote mental well being
- Encourage discussion around disability
- Provide respite for the emergency services through therapy visits
- Donate equipment to projects that are in need
- Improve morale in communities
- Will not discriminate against visiting any projects, as long as they will welcome a dog who might just pinch their lunch!
Team Baloo Committee
I'm in charge
Background: Belgian Malinois but born in Amsterdam! Came to Essex Police in 2018 and loved working with Police Dog Handler Ross. Had some great results but hit by a car driven by a suspect leaving a crime scene so had to retire from the front line.
Occupation: Spreading smiles when my Chauffeur Mandy takes me to visit schools, emergency service personnel and other groups. I love all the attention and cuddles while they hear my story of overcoming adversity with the support of Essex Police and my friends.
Hobbies: Soaking the veterinary physiotherapy team at Writtle University Canine Therapy Unit during my hydrotherapy and enjoy the cuddles at my treatment sessions.
Stealing any unattended food at my visits.
CaniCross running with South Essex Tailrunners where I insist on being the fastest so I drag Victoria to keep up with me!
After all that I like to lie on a very comfy sofa with my mate Titch, a Jack Russell Terrier. Apparently, there used to be a rule about “no dogs on the furniture”
Background: I have a background in the voluntary and community sector, working for 6 years as a Community Development Officer in Belfast. I have recently been a school governor and also volunteered as Run Director at Junior Parkrun.
I met Baloo when she joined our canicross club, I would like to say I run with her and Victoria, but they are usually a spec in the distance ahead!
Occupation: I am a freelancer website designer at Geek Fairy Design Studio, and have run my own design studio for the last 10 years.
Hobbies: Walking with our spaniel and watching her get as muddy as she can, I am a keen crafter and also enjoy gardening.
Background: Mum to an amazing little girl and happily married! Worked mainly for local government authorities and have volunteered for many charities throughout the years.
Occupation: Currently working for a Local Policing Body.
Hobbies: Chauffeur for my daughter’s dance classes and competitions! Walking and training my young golden retriever.
Background: Happily married with two wonderful older teenage daughters. Massive fan of community services and volunteering. Over the last 35 years I have supported, in various roles, Scouting, Chelmsford City Swimming, School PTA’s, British Legion, Women’s Institute and others. It has always been thoroughly satisfying, fun and great being part of a team. I am very much looking forward to this new venture.
Occupation: Worked as an Accountant, locally for 25 years in the charity and public sector including The Scout Association, Essex County Council, and Essex Police. I now combine my passion for sewing and knitting with working at a local Haberdashery part-time.
Hobbies: Mum, to our beautiful cocker spaniel, Tilly. I’m from a family of runners but had to give that up so am now a keen walker with Essex Canicross, parkrun, and Springfield Striders. As mentioned I love my sewing machine and knitting needles. I love making bread and am always up for sharing a bottle of wine with friends.
Background: 30 years in the Metropolitan Police, 24 as a General Purpose Police Dog Handler working four operational dogs.
Occupation: Volunteer with Essex Police.
Hobbies: Jetskiing, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, walking dogs and a reluctant runner!
Background: 30 years in hospitality and still going strong. Married with three gorgeous children who make me proud.
Occupation: Company Director of my own Tearoom.
Hobbies: Horse riding, Pilates and cooking!
Background: Thirty years with Essex Police retiring as a Chief Inspector in 2019 as Specialist Operations Commander which includes the Dog Section where I met Baloo after her awful accident but then great recovery with new owner Mandy.
Occupation: Change Manager with Suffolk Constabulary and keen to remain involved in helping retired police dogs and the welfare dogs scheme.
Hobbies: Running, keeping fit, trying to help two teenage daughters cope with their schoolwork and out of school sports activities including the love of football!
Background: After a brief spell in the private sector, 24 years serving the public in Local Government.
Occupation: Local Government Officer
Hobbies: Currently training for a 10k Openwater swim and Half Ironman. Anything on the water. Canicross with Baloo and the SE Essex Tailrunners Club.
Background: Grew up in a small village in Essex and haven’t drifted very far. Married with 3 children and 7 grandchildren between us – one family group now lives in Australia. My family ran the local garage in the village for 40 years.
Occupation: A Civil Engineer with 40 years’ experience in the design, construction, maintenance, and management of both local roads and strategic motorways. I recently retired as Chief Engineer for a leading international engineering consultant. The last 15 years of my career were spent working on major highway infrastructure projects, with values of £500m to £6 billion, spread over more than 40 countries.
Hobbies: Travelling, walking my dog, musical theatre, good restaurants, gardening, Netflix bingeing, and DIY.
Background: Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, one of the 53 Accredited Chambers which together comprise the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) national network. Chair of the Police Strategic Board for Essex
Joined Essex Chambers in 2004 as Operations Manager, responsible for the operational control of the Chamber’s infrastructure, staffing and income generating businesses (eg membership, events, international trade, training)
Occupation: After a wide-ranging career as a qualified Credit Manager in the wine trade and pharmaceutical industry, Denise has also run her own business networking company (Southend based Networking-on Sea Ltd, which is now part of Essex Chambers.) Appointed Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce in 2010. Passionate about customer service and communication. Has overseen a transformation in the way the Chamber supports its Members, external perceptions of the organisation and the influence it has with Member businesses of all sizes, partner organizations and other stakeholders. Born in Essex and lives in Westcliff-on-Sea
Hobbies: Married to David. A variety of interests include sport, walking and her beautiful Cockerpoo, Raz.
Background: Due to retire in December 2020, having completed 30 years service. I’ve worked in front line roles, including emergency response, public order, community policing, and numerous Detective roles. I was working in the West of Essex when I first met Mandy and Baloo when they kindly agreed to help me with a trial where we carried out a series of morale boosting visits to Officers and staff in Essex Police as part of my Therapy Dog project. The amazing “Baloo effect” has to be seen to be believed, and they’ve selflessly seen more than a 1000 people in this capacity within the two years we’ve done this work. Passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves.
Occupation: Currently a Detective Inspector on a unit focused on problem solving series crimes.
Hobbies: Currently doing home improvements, and looking after my Dad, our new Puppy, the chickens and the cats! Happily married with two children.