A Metropolitan Police officer, who was helped by Flint House on three separate occasions following a car crash has spoken about how the Charity has helped his physical and mental health.

Official Flint House Ambassador, James Sarson, who has 21 years’ service, said the first time he came to Flint House he arrived on crutches and left without them.

He said of his accident: “I was driving home from work and someone pulled out on me; I had to swerve and then someone hit me head-on. I was in a coma, with a broken back, broken knees, a fractured sternum, and part of my stomach had to be removed.

“When I came out of the coma I had to have intense physio and learn to walk again. I was in a wheelchair for a while.

“When I went to Flint House three months after the accident, I was on crutches. I left without needing them – so thank you very much.”

A few months later, James needed to come back for more physio, but he was still struggling with his mental health. So later that year he returned to Flint House for help with his wellbeing.

He said: “I met some incredible people. I went to the wellbeing introduction day and there were nine other people in that room. Everyone introduced themselves and explained what had happened to them, and I thought my story’s nothing compared to theirs, I’m one of the lucky ones.”

He continued: “Those two weeks were brilliant, I met some great people and some of them inspired me in ways that I sort of couldn’t believe. So I thought, I want to harvest this and do something with it, so that’s how the motivational speeches came about, to raise money for Flint House.”

As a thank you to the Flint House Police Rehabilitation Centre for the work it does to assist police officers’ physical and mental health, James and colleagues have also donated some money to the charity.

Pre-Covid, James started giving speeches about mental health in policing, and he says he hopes he can pick it up again now that people are able to meet up more.

Meanwhile he continues to look after his own mental health by exercising near his home in the Surrey Hills. He says: “I do lots of walking, lots of swimming, and some cycling as well, so I keep myself healthy. For me, keeping active and having something to look forward to, physically and mentally, is key.”