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Who We Are

Meet the trustees

We’re a team of seven trustees – all serving or former police officers – who run the Benevolent Fund Charity and are committed to supporting the whole West Midlands Police Family.

John Williams ChairJohn Williams

I’ve been a police officer for 18 years having previously served with the Welsh Guards and realised the important work of their welfare fund. I joined West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund in 2007 and now I’m the Chairman as well as the Deputy Chair of West Midlands Police Federation. I really understand how much the fund can help members in their hour of need. I’ve referred many cases over the years and have seen the difference it can make to people’s lives. Joining the Benevolent Fund is so vital because you never know what might happen to you and your family in the future.

Joe TildesleyJoe Tildesley

I’m a retired inspector and served with West Midlands Police for 30 years. I am now an elected councillor in Solihull. I first became involved with the Benevolent Fund in 1994 as a management committee member and I’m also a former chairman of the fund. As a member of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, I’m able to travel throughout the West Midlands and visit other NARPO colleagues who might need help. The Benevolent Fund plays an integral part in looking after the West Midlands police family including those who retired from the force many years ago.

Simon WestwoodSimon Westwood

I am also a retired West Midlands Police inspector. I have been actively involved with the Ben Fund as a director and now as a trustee for over 20 years. I am committed to my role as a charity trustee for the same reason I joined the job – helping people. People should join our police charity because it’s there to provide an essential helping hand when you need it most. The Ben Fund really has “got your back”.

Gill BakerGill Baker OBE

I’ve been a member of the Benevolent Fund since I joined the West Midlands Police in 1977. During my service I was a Federation Rep and a previous Chair of the Benevolent Fund before taking up the role as one of the Directors of the Fund and now subsequently one of the charity’s trustees. During my service I worked in the Public Protection Unit and was awarded an OBE, shortly after my retirement, in recognition for my work relating to abuse cases and the management of sexual/violent offenders. The very nature of police work, particularly in respect of offences against vulnerable people, is stressful hence support to our serving and retired members is essential when they are in need of help. I feel very privileged to be a trustee of our most worthwhile charity.

Derek Ridgway

I am a retired WMP sergeant who joined the Benevolent Fund when my policing career began. I became a Trustee of the Charity last year and am pleased to be able to use my long established knowledge of the charity sector for the benefit of the fund. I’m very proud of my involvement, especially knowing that everything we do is for the welfare and support of police officers’ past and present.

Nick Simpson

I retired in early 2020 but I wanted to be part of the Benevolent Fund because as serving officers we spend our daily lives helping the general public and I know that there are many occasions where our police colleagues need to be cared for too. We are only human after all and there are times when we need support both financially and mentally.

I am privileged to be a trustee of this worthwhile charity that genuinely cares for its members both serving, retired and police staff.

Richard Youds

As Secretary of the West Midlands Police Superintendents Association, I am proud to be a trustee of the Benevolent Fund. Police officers and staff face significant challenges in modern-day policing and so the time and commitment I devote to the Ben Fund as a trustee enables me to give a little bit back to all those who work so hard in our force. I’m proud to serve with West Midlands Police and I’m honoured to contribute to the important work West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund carries out year on year to help our police colleagues.

Our Operations Committee

Our Operations Committee is made up of a broader range of members – both serving officers and police staff.

Rev John Butcher BEM is the Force/Lead Chaplain at West Midlands Police. John became actively involved with the Benevolent Fund when he realised just how much it supports serving and retire police officers, police staff and their families.

The other members are John Carrington, Darren Neville, Steve Groves, Ben Whitehouse , George McDonnell and Bryan Henry.

Our Benevolent Fund Team

Behind the scenes we have Steve Newbury, Committee Secretary and General Manager, who interviews members 

requiring financial assistance, co-ordinates the paperwork and presents the cases to the Board of Trustees.

Jan Burchell, Company Secretary and Finance Manager looks after the finances for the charity.

Della Poolton is our Admin and Finance Officer who plays an integral part in the day-to-day running of the Fund and Nicki Biddlestone, the charity’s Communications and Marketing Manager.



Charity Number: 1186628

Company Number: 03179216

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