AGM – West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund Charity
A big thank you to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting last Friday 17 June.
Fund Chairman, John Williams opened this year’s event by welcoming our Patron, the Chief Constable Sir Dave Thompson and fellow members to Guardians House.
As well as signing off last year’s accounts and sharing news of our charity’s performance, John invited the Chief to unveil our new electronic donation boxes.
“Since the Fund became a registered charity, we’re always looking for innovative ways for people to support us. We need to make it easier and more convenient for people to make a donation”, explained John.
“We can now reveal our two, brand new donation ‘hubs’. One of which, will sit near the Roll of Honour in the reception area of Police HQ. The other will be located in the Bravery Cell at the new police museum in Steelhouse Lane.”
It was the last AGM for our valued Trustee, the Rev John Butcher BEM, who is retiring. John has been an integral part of the Benevolent Fund for many years, first as an Operations Committee member and more recently as one of our Trustees.
We also bid farewell to Ben Whitehouse, who has been a valued Operations Committee member and Trustee. Ben has served our charity for over 30 years and we are immensely grateful for the many hours he has committed to our police charity.
John and Ben will be sorely missed and we wish them both a very long and happy retirement.
We’re delighted to welcome some new faces to the Benevolent Fund’s Operations Committee, Tony Crisp from Coventry NARPO (National Association of Retired Police Officers), Sam Stait, Police Federation Representative and Michael Braycotton, representing The Disabled Police Association.
We look forward to working with them all.
Raising awareness of the Benevolent Fund, and the welfare support we can offer is fundamental to our work. We’re committed to increasing membership and last month we achieved the impressive milestone of 8,000 members.
We were delighted to welcome our 8000th member, serving police staff, Laura Olivier to this year’s AGM. As a token of our appreciation, we invited the Chief Constable to present Laura with our charity’s special commemorative award.
With rising inflation and the soaring cost of living, we know that our charity work will bring peace of mind to many members who are experiencing difficulties right now.
As our Chairman, John Williams reiterated at our meeting, this is one of the main reasons we encourage people to join the Benevolent Fund –
- to protect yourself
- your immediate family
- and to provide that essential safety net if something unexpected or unforeseen should happen.
This was echoed by newly retired member Rob Pedley, who gave an emotive testimony about how the Ben Fund has assisted him during his police service. We are really grateful to Rob for being an ambassador of our police charity over the years and featuring in our promotional video and literature. We would like to wish him all the very best in his retirement.
Here’s a brief summary of how the Fund has supported its members over the last 12 months
- £28,143 in grants to help serving and retired members through difficult times.
- £20,849 was donated to widows and orphans of deceased officers
- £14,400 has helped members with convalescence and rehabilitation at St Michael’s Lodge
- £5820 in shopping vouchers to members off sick through injury or ill health.
- And finally, £16,669 on interest free loans to members who weren’t able to borrow money from any other source.
It’s been another incredible year for the West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund Charity and that would not be possible without the ongoing support of our members.
On behalf of the Ben Fund Team, Trustees and Operations Committee we would like to say a massive thank you.
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