A memorial to fallen police dogs is one of six schemes aimed at helping former officers and their families.

Since launching in 2015, Police Mutual’s Force For Good programme has funded 18 projects in Essex.

On Wednesday (October 10) six more projects in the county were given a financial boost.

Funding was given to Learning Lunches at the RESTORE Community Centre in Loughton, victim clothing at South Essex Rape & Incest Crisis Centre and The Respect Project early intervention programme at Essex Boys and Girls Club.

Also receiving a cash boost was the National K9 Police Dog Memorial, designed by sculptor, John Doubleday, at Oaklands Park Museum in Chelmsford.

Retired Essex police dog handler and founder of the initiative, Paul Nicholls, said: “The National K9 Memorial will ensure that the incredible service provided by the UK’s Police Dogs will never be forgotten, and that those dogs who pay the ultimate price will always be remembered.

“The funding from Police Mutual will be put towards the construction of the memorial, which we hope will be unveiled in April 2019.

“The money will also help to provide learning and teaching material for an exhibition that will be held for a period following the memorial’s unveiling.”