Ben Fund’s ‘A Day to Remember’ enjoyed by all
Thanks to everyone who attended our ‘Family Fun Day’ at Blackwell Adventure in August. Blackwell Adventure was the first of a series of ‘Friends and Family’ days the Fund hopes to provide for its members. The event offered action packed outdoor fun, with thrills and personal challenges all wrapped up in a memorable day.
We intend to make this an annual event for more members and their families to enjoy.
WMP Benevolent Fund’s A Day to Remember
Thanks to everyone who responded to our ‘Family Fun Day’ at Blackwell Adventure in August. Blackwell Adventure is the first of a series of ‘Friends and Family’ days the Fund wants to provide for its members. The event promises to offer action packed outdoor fun, with thrills and personal challenges all wrapped up in a memorable day.
Those already invited to Blackwell are widows and orphans of serving officers and police staff we have sadly lost, as well as families of members the Fund has helped through particularly testing times.
Additional places were made available for subscribers to the Ben Fund. The intention is to run similar events annually, enabling families to come together and establish a greater connection with the Benevolent Fund.
We have received an over whelming response this year and places have now been allocated to the lucky members and their families who were selected in the draw.
We will be sharing photos and feedback from Blackwell Adventure later this year. Hopefully it will be a fantastic day for everyone.
Membership benefits update
Following a recent re-assessment of the WMP Benevolent Fund membership benefits by our Management Committee and Directors it has been decided the £60 contribution towards ( what is known as) ‘travelling expenses’, following a visit to Flint House, will be withdrawn from 29 February 2020.
This entitlement was only available to serving members who were both subscribers to the Benevolent Fund and Flint House and excluded some sections of WMP police staff, our retired members and serving officers who chose not to donate to Flint House.
The travelling expenses will continue to be paid until that date to all qualifying members who claim. However new joiners from 15 July will not be able to apply for the £60 benefit.
We’re delighted to inform members that as part of our benefits review we have now increased the allowance for anyone applying to stay at St Michael’s Lodge for convalescence and rehabilitation breaks. This allowance offers more treatment opportunities and enhanced well-being breaks.
Benevolent Fund’s exciting steps towards charity status
Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting last Friday 12 July at Guardians House, Sheldon.
Our Chairman John Williams opened this year’s event by firstly sharing our exciting plans to move from a limited company to a registered charity.
Members were asked to cast their vote on two special resolutions;
1. Moving from a limited company towards a charity status
2. For the WMP Benevolent Fund name to become West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund
We’re pleased to announce members unanimously voted in favour of the Ben Fund becoming a charity. In the coming weeks we will be submitting a full application to the Charity Commission with the objective of becoming the West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund, a registered charity by 1 January 2020.
John went on to explain the recent changes to our management committee, with PC Darren Neville, (Wolverhampton Police Federation Rep) and Gina Lycett, police staff working out of Corporate Communications, joining the board.
We have seen a steady increase in membership over the last year, our members are roughly split 50/50 between serving and retired officers with a membership total of nearly 7,000.
Here’s a brief summary of how the Fund has supported its members over the last 12 months
• Just under £38,000 in grants to help serving and retired members through difficult times.
• Just over £17,000 was donated to widows and children of deceased officers
• Over £13,000 has helped members with convalescence and rehabilitation. More members are attending the excellent well-being facilities at St Michael’s Lodge
• Over £5,000 in high street shopping vouchers to members off sick through injury or ill health
• Unfortunately, we paid out £3,500 for a death in service of a serving member
• And finally, £25,000 on interest free loans to members who weren’t able to borrow money from any other source.
Since our last AGM we have continued to develop in a wide range of areas, including;
• A second holiday home in Dartmouth, Devon for members to book at discounted rates
• Expanded benefits at St Michael’s Lodge to include alternative therapies focusing on mindfulness, stress management and enhancing well-being
Plans for the future
Being busy is what we do best and we intend to busy ourselves even more in the months ahead.
Here’s a preview of some of things we have planned;
• A family fun day at Blackwell Adventure for members and their families
• Theme park trip for our widows and orphans in partnership with the Alton Towers charity, Merlin’s Magic Wand.
• Application to the Charity Commission to become a registered charity
We hope to increase the level of benefits for all our members over the next 12 months. This must be both affordable and sustainable and meets the needs of all our members, from teenagers to people in their 100’s.
We welcome any ideas and will endeavour to keep our membership informed of any major plans.
Finally, thank you to our 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 Management Committee and Board of Directors, as well as Federation representatives who refer their members to us.
You can find out more about the many benefits of joining the fund by visiting www.wmpben.co.uk
We will also keep you up to date with our application to the charity commission.
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/
Queens Honour for WMP’s Multi-Faith Lead Chaplain
On behalf of everyone at WMP Benevolent Fund, massive congratulations to our management committee member, Rev John Butcher who’s been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
John, the Force’s Multi-Faith Lead Chaplain has received a British Empire Medal for his -outstanding military or civil service – in acknowledgement of his work expanding West Midlands Police’s multi-faith chaplaincy and its contribution to modern day policing.
In the last 10 years the Force has seen a growing number of volunteer chaplains thanks to the guidance and commitment invested by John. From just a handful of volunteers, WMP now benefits from more than 60 dedicated chaplains representing all six major faiths.
As well as John’s pastoral role supporting staff and officers through difficult times, the 63-year-old minister is also a member of our management committee.
“John brings a wealth of experience to the Benevolent Fund. He regularly attends the management committee meetings and we value his contribution when offering grants to members in times of crisis.
“He’s a fantastic ambassador of the Fund, promoting our services to police officers and staff at various force events.
We are absolutely thrilled for him and immensely grateful for the time he invests with the Fund”, added Steve Newbury, General Manager.
Although John admits the royal recognition came as a big shock, everyone here at WMP Benevolent Fund is not surprised! We’re equally overjoyed for John to receive such well-deserved recognition for his outstanding service to others.
Police show their ‘Love out Loud’ for WMP Benevolent Fund
Officers and staff from West Midlands Police showed their ‘Love’ and appreciation for the work of WMP Benevolent Fund with a donation collected at the recent annual Birmingham Pride parade.
This year’s event held on 25 & 26 May, in Birmingham’s Gay Village, was themed ‘Love out Loud’ and a number of our members were spotted supporting uniformed officers and joining in the vibrant parade.
Billy Corrigan, West Midlands Police employee and champion of the Force’s LGBT+ Network, handed the £142.50 raised from the sale of face painting and police whistles.
“The Benevolent Fund was the first charity to spring to mind when we were looking at who to donate cash raised at this year’s Pride”, added Billy.
“The fund does so much for members of our police family – past and present – and this donation will go some small way to help them continue that amazing work.
“I’ve personally benefitted from the fund over the past 12 months so it’s nice to pay something back.”
WMP Benevolent Fund wants to become a registered charity!
We are set to achieve another milestone by becoming an official charity for thousands of police members we serve.
Subscribing members are being contacted this week, either by email or post, with details about the application and will be given a say on whether we should become a registered charity.
A dedicated ‘Becoming a Charity’ page has been created on our website https://www.wmpben.co.uk/members-area/becoming-a-charity/ along with relevant documents and details of how members can vote.
We aim to reach all of our members as soon as possible, so if you’re a member and have not received an email or letter by Friday 7 June please contact the office on 0121 752 4919 or email email@example.com It maybe because we have your old contact details.
Being legally registered as a charity will give us an official hallmark for our mission to provide financial help and support to members of the West Midlands Police family.
Grab yourself a Spring break with our flash holiday sale!
As a Ben Fund member you can bag yourself a bargain at our seaside retreat (Peel’s Retreat) this April. Sleeping up to 6 people and in a superb location, the newly decorated holiday home is the perfect base to explore the many attractions along the beautiful Dorset coastline. Well behaved dogs are also welcome.
There is so much to see and do in Weymouth. With lots of events and attractions, for all ages throughout the year, it’s hard to decide when to visit this pretty seaside town.
Dates & prices:
Sat 30th Mar – 6th Apr £360
6th- Apr – 13 Apr £360
13th Apr – 20th Apr £570
20th – 27th Apr £570
27th – 4th May £360
Simply select your week via our online booking system www.wmpben.co.uk
Discounted seaside breaks still available for WMP Ben Fund members to book
We still have weeks available for members to stay at our two holiday homes in Dorset and Devon.
If you fancy a wonderful week away at a great discounted price visit the online calendars on the holiday home web pages for available dates. Hurry though as weeks will be booked on a first come first served basis.
Book your Ben Fund discounted break – Ballot for holiday homes now open!
Our ballot has now opened and we are pleased to offer members a second holiday home to choose from.
Court Cottage is our new property offering members and their families a fabulous break in South Devon.
The quaint two-bedroom luxury residence is situated on the Hillfield Village self-catering holiday estate and is just two miles from Dartmouth.
Follow the link to enter the Court Cottage ballot.
To enter this ballot simply click here
If you have been a member of the Fund for at least six months you will be eligible to bid for a week to stay at either of our holiday homes*.
You can register your interest via our website until 25 February 2019 and then a ballot will take place to decide which members have been successful with their bid.
Any remaining weeks (not requested in the ballot) can be booked via our online calendar on a first come first serve basis. Visit www.wmpben.co.uk to register your interest.
*Members who stayed at Peel’s Retreat last year and in 2017 will not be able to register their interest again for three years but can, however, request a week for 2019 at our second property in Dartmouth, Court Cottage.