Officer remembers help benevolent fund provided after death of his Detective Dad
19 April 2021
Greater Manchester Police officer PC Joe Dearnaley has more reasons than most to appreciate the help and care police beneficiary funds can provide.
Joe, based out of Stockport, lost his Greater Manchester Police officer father back in 1996 after he died on duty.
Detective Constable Kevin Dearnaley was just 31 when his police motorcycle collided with a lorry in Cheshire.
Going through the trauma of losing his dad didn’t put Joe off following his footsteps into the force and into a job he says he loves.
“I really enjoy it. It’s challenging at the minute with the way it is, but it’s really rewarding when you help people especially, and it’s the variety of the job too,” Joe said.
“I was in an office before working, 9-5, Monday to Friday, bored out of my head, but with a job on the force, there’s something new and different every day, and I’m with a great team over in Stockport.
“My dad passed away in 1996 on duty, and he was in The Ben Fund [North West Police Benevolent Fund], and they supported us.
“I was only one, and my mum was working part-time, and she was struggling.
“How was she going to cope with two kids, my brother and me? The Ben Fund were there to say, literally the day after it happened, ‘we’ll sort it, and they helped us. Mum said to me that they were there to help us out.”
Joining the Fund and making sure you have a place to go to help you recover from physical and mental trauma and health issues is all part of policing’s ‘big family’, Joe said.
He knows, too, that with the nature of the job he’s in, it’s likely he’ll have to call on The Ben Fund’s services at some stage of his career.
The Ben Fund offers support to officers through physiotherapy, wellbeing support, mental health services, counselling and respite and recovery services, as well as financial hardship cover.
Officers from GMP, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria and the NCA all pay in a monthly subscription so they can use the service should they need to.
“I joined The Ben Fund because [as an officer] you are probably are going to need it at some point in your career,” Joe said.
“It’s a long career nowadays, and it’s quite a dangerous job so, God forbid, but you are going to need it at some point, whether physically or mentally, for things like counselling or physio for any injuries that you get.
“It’s like an insurance cover - that was in my head as I signed up for it. It’s absolute peanuts every month and was free for the first 12 months. It was a no-brainer for me.”
Even if members end up never using The Ben Fund’s professional services or modern facilities, by paying in, they are helping out colleagues and other officers who might need help.
“With the police, it’s like a big family. It sounds a cliché, but that’s what it is,” Joe said.
“We’re all there, sticking together, willing to help each other. If you’re paying into The Ben Fund, you might need it one day, but when you’re not using it, someone else might. You’re helping people if they have a bad injury or if they’re struggling.
“You’re just helping your mates out, really. That’s the way I see it.
“I’ve seen first-hand with losing my dad how it’s helped us. I can see what it offers - it’s a good thing.
“The Ben Fund is all about helping each other out and sticking together as a bit of a big family - it’s insurance for and for your family.”