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/