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17th May 2017

Police daughter’s bequest gives cash boost to Benevolent Fund

A recent bequest totalling over £96,700 will give West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund a vital cash boost to help others.

Joan Byng, 85, the daughter of a police constable, passed away in April last year. Outliving her only sister, Margaret and with no children of her own, Joan wanted to donate to West Midlands Police when she died.

Joan’s father, the late Harold Hickson, joined Staffordshire County Police in 1923. He served for over 25 years patrolling the communities of Smethwick, West Bromwich, Brierley Hill and Quarry Bank.

PC Harold Hickman pictured in team photo

PC Harold Hickman pictured in team photo

Benevolent Fund Chairman, John Williams met Kay Withers, Joan’s first cousin, to receive the cheque on behalf of the Fund.

Kay, now in her 80’s, recalls with fond memories time spent with her cousin Joan.

“We were like sisters, very close. We shared many family holidays together and enjoyed dancing. Joan loved Latin American music, in particular the Cha Cha Cha.

“She adored her father and when her sister died she knew she wanted to leave her estate to something worthwhile. It seemed fitting after her Dad had patrolled the beats of the West Midlands that Joan left half of her estate to the West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund.

Kay Withers with photo of PC Harold Hickson

Kay Withers with photo of PC Harold Hickson

It was her wish to leave money, knowing it would help police families in the future”

Executors, Bob Withers (a cousin of Kay’s late husband, a retired West Midlands Police officer, serving on the old ‘J’ Division) and Andrew Darby (a family friend) joined Kay for the photograph.

Joan's cousin, Kay Withers pictured with Chairman John Williams and executors Bob (left) and Andrew (right)

Joan’s cousin, Kay Withers pictured with Chairman John Williams and executors Bob (left) and Andrew (rear right)

Ben Fund Chairman, John Williams said; “We are extremely grateful to Joan for this generous donation. This boost to our funds means we can help more police and their families.

Our recent awareness-raising of the Fund has led to more approaches for assistance than ever, so this has come just at the right time.

“We like to share the moving stories of how we help our members. Monthly subscriptions and kind donations enable the Benevolent Fund to offer increased benefits to its 6300 plus members and crucially support colleagues and retired officers in times of need.

“This large bequest will give the Fund a great cash boost to further improve its member support and services.”

Have your say about how the funds will be spent

As a valued member of WMP Benevolent Fund, you can have your say about how we spend or invest the recent bequest of £96,722.

The Directors and Management Committee are keen to give members’ the opportunity to put forward their suggestions on how the money can be used to improve member benefits.    You can voice your ideas at WMP Benevolent Fund’s general meeting on Friday 23 June at Guardians House, Sheldon or you can email your ideas to

Annually the Benevolent Fund writes to all its members by sending out a newsletter, additionally members can keep updated on how this donation and others will be used by visiting the Fund’s website

We would like to start emailing our members, at least twice a year, to share good news, members’ stories and increased members’ benefits. If you would like to receive these emails please ensure we have your current e-mail address, by emailing our office


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