Chairman welcomes members to Benevolent Fund Charity AGM
Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual General meeting today 8 August.
Our Chairman John Williams opened this year’s event by firstly welcoming members to Guardians House after months of Covid restrictions.
As well as signing off last year’s accounts and sharing news of our charity’s performance, members also passed the vote on a Special Resolution which will allow our Trustees and Operations Committee to hold virtual meetings in the future and not hold an AGM if the need arises. It’s not a huge change to the way our charity works but it will help us enormously if we ever go through a crisis like Covid-19 again.
John went on to explain the recent changes to our management committee, with Deb Ferris joining as our new Finance Manager, Patrick Wing MBE to our Board of Trustees, Steve Groves and Rev John Butcher, BEM joining our team of Trustees and Nick Simpson taking on the role of Vice-Chairman.
Cliff Tomkinson, from WMP Federation, Winston Christie from the WMP Black and Asian Police association (BAPA), Kay Bargewell from Women in Policing and Sue Cleeton from Dudley NARPO have joined our Operations Committee. And finally, Joe Tildesley has moved from our Board of Trustees to our Operations Committee.
We look forward to working with them all.
So far, this year, we have increased our serving and police staff membership by 422. We have over 7400 members and for the first time in many years we now have more serving members than retired members.
Here’s a brief summary of how the Fund has supported its members over the last 12 months
- Just over £15,994 in grants to help serving and retired members through difficult times.
- Just over £23,050 was donated to widows and children of deceased officers
- Over £3,912 has helped members with convalescence
- Over £3,930 in shopping vouchers to members off sick through injury or ill health, a similar figure to the previous year.
- And finally, just over £19,383 on interest free loans to members who weren’t able to borrow money from any other source.
Since our last AGM back in 2019 we have continued to develop in a wide range of areas, including;
- A new exclusive Reward Scheme offering money off groceries, family days out, health and beauty, travel, retail and much more.
- Expanded benefits at St Michael’s Lodge to include alternative therapies focusing on mindfulness, stress management and enhancing well-being
We took the decision early on in the year, despite the uncertainty of Covid-19 to hold our family event a Blackwell Court Adventure. It proved to be the right decision and we were overwhelmed by the interest from members wishing to attend.
We had a fantastic two days on 25th and 26th August, where we were able to offer over a hundred members and their families a truly memorable day. There will be more about our Blackwell Family days on here very soon.
We received this lovely letter of thanks from Oliver Thomas, aged 9.
The Chief Constable has announced the return of his force wide roadshows in October. We have reserved our table and look forward to welcoming the anticipated 3,000 visitors to the four-day events and reminding colleagues of the benefits of joining the Fund.
We have also been invited as special guests by the Chief Constable to this year’s Diamond Awards at the end of the month.
It felt really good to welcome members back to Guardians House today after the challenges of the past 18 months.
We would like to thank members for their continued support and monthly subscriptions. Without you we wouldn’t be able to provide assistance year on year to those who need it. Thanks also to our Operations Committee and Board of Trustees, as well as colleagues from WMP Federation.
Finally thank you to the Chief Constable, Dave Thompson for his continued support and for recording a special message that was shown at today’s meeting.
You can find out more about the many benefits of joining the fund by visiting www.wmpben.co.uk.
Not a member of the Fund? Both serving officers and police staff are welcome to join. Monthly subscriptions to the fund are just £2.00 and taken straight from your salary. You can join online here: https://www.wmpben.co.uk/how-to-join/application-form/