Who We Are
Meet the directors
We’re a team of seven directors – all serving or former police officers – who run the Benevolent Fund and are committed to supporting the whole West Midlands Police Family.
John Williams works with the neighbourhood team in Solihull
I’ve been a officer for 14 years having previously served with the Welsh Guards and realised the important work of their Welfare Fund. I joined WMP Benevolent Fund in 2007 and now I’m the Chairman. I really understand how much the Fund can help you when you need it most. I’ve referred many cases over the years and seen the difference it can make first hand. Joining the Fund is one of the most important things you should do because you never know what might happen to you and your family.
Joe Tildesley is a retired inspector
I served in the West Midlands Police Force for 30 years and am now an elected councillor in Solihull. I became a member of the Management Committee in 1994 and am 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.
Simon Westwood is a retired inspector
I was invited to become a trustee of the Ben Fund over 20 years ago which makes me the longest serving Director. I became a trustee and later a Director for the same reason I joined the job – helping people. People should join the Ben Fund because it’s there to provide a different kind of back-up, if and when it’s needed. The Ben Fund really has “got your back”.
Gill Baker is a retired inspector
I’ve been a member of the Ben Fund since I joined the police in 1977 and have never regretted my decision. I worked in the Family Protection Unit for 10 years and became a Fed Rep in 1996. I later served as Chair of the Management Committee for three years during which time I became a Ben Fund Director. The very nature of police work is demanding and, at times, highly stressful so it’s important that members of the police family are given help and support when they are in need.
Ben Whitehouse is a retired inspector
Before becoming a Director, I served on the Management Committee for 11 years. I’m also Chairman of the Coventry branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers. I joined the Benevolent Fund when it first started to help support other members in need. As a member of the Fund, it’s reassuring to know that someone cares about you in your time of need.
I joined the Benevolent Fund in 1988 because it was the right thing to do and have stayed a member because of the benefits it gives both me and other people for a minimal contribution. I became a Director because I can directly influence how the Fund works and ensure that we support our members the best way we can. I believe very strongly in taking responsibility and making things happen. I’m currently based at Dudley where I’ve been a neighbourhood team inspector for nearly two years. Now I’m moving to Brierley Hill to take up a partnerships post.
Nick Simpson is a sergeant based at Handsworth police station
I wanted to be part of the Benevolent Fund because we the police are regarded as a ‘safe pair of hands, a can do organisation’ when it comes to dealing with members of the public and local communities, and rightly so, but at times we forget about the toll this can have on some of our police colleagues. We are only human after all and there are times we need support financially,mentally or otherwise.
I was fortunate and privileged to be voted in as Director this year and enthusiastic about influencing the decisions made on how members’ contributions are spent or used in the future. I hope to bring new ideas to the table and look forward to being apart of a Fund that genuinely cares for its members.
Our Management Committee
Our management team is made up of a broader range of members – both serving officers and police staff.
Inspector Greg Bates is the Sandwell LPU Intelligence Manager – he became a member on the day he joined the police over 27 years ago. He says: “The best thing about being on the Management Committee is being able to have a significant impact on people’s lives when they need it most. The more of us in the Fund, the better placed we are to help.”
Rev. John Butcher is Force Lead Chaplain based at Force HQ – he joined when he realised just how much it supports the Police Family. He says: “One reason why people should join – members play a part in helping colleagues and their families through the ups and downs of life.”
The other members are: Sally Bourner, Nick Simpson, John Williams, Gary Cann, John Carrington, Ben Whitehouse, Steve Groves, Bryan Henry, Jon Thursfield, Larry Johnson, Steve Temperton and Simon Archer.
Behind the scenes we have Roz Payne, Committee Secretary and Company Secretary, who interviews the members, co-ordinates the paperwork and presents the cases.