90 days from today is Wed, 30 December 2020
23 July 2020
An update from the fund’s chair, John Williams
It’s been several months now since the Benevolent Fund closed its office to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Three months on, as restrictions to daily life ease, I wanted to say a personal thank you to all our members for your continued support during these exceptionally challenging times: from simply keeping up your membership to sending messages of support and for all the donations we have gratefully received.
This clearly demonstrates the close police family that exists between the Benevolent Fund and the West Midlands Police force.
We were scheduled to hold our AGM in July but this year’s event was postponed, therefore I would like to give you a brief update on our news, plans and services.
Despite the recent lockdown, the Benevolent Fund, like many other charities, has continued to offer help to those who need it. We have continued to support members who are currently off work through illness or injury. Earlier this year we introduced a new e-voucher scheme called Vex Vouchers that gives members the choice of more than 150 shops where they can redeem these.
A total of £1,530 has been given in sickness vouchers to officers and police staff currently unable to work this year already.
Over the coming weeks, you can find the latest information on our website, including the phased re-opening of the convalescence facility, St Michael’s Lodge and, of course, the availability of our holiday homes.
Our two holiday properties remain closed in response to COVID-19 and we know members were looking forward to spending a seaside break at our holiday homes this year.
When bookings do resume (which we hope won’t be too far away) we want to reassure members that both holiday properties will continue to maintain high standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
Many of our planned events have now been either cancelled or postponed, including this year’s Diamond Awards. However, I am pleased to announce that we have been chosen to become West Midlands Police’s nominated charity for next year’s event.
Sadly, we have had to cancel the family fun day at Blackwell Adventure that was planned for 26 August. A new date has now been arranged for 25 August 2021 and we will be providing more information about this later in the year.
We still have our children’s Christmas party scheduled for this December in partnership with the WMP Sports and Well Being Association. Of course, we will be monitoring the situation closely and will notify members as to whether the party can go ahead as planned.
Our membership subscriptions remain at £2 a month for serving officers and staff and £1 for retired members.
Membership benefits include:
Members who are serving officers or police staff are also entitled to a death grant of £3,500 to a nominated beneficiary and £25 per week for all surviving children up to the age of 18
The last few months have been challenging for all of us and as a result, we have seen an increase in non-members turn to the Benevolent Fund for possible support.
We deliberately keep subscription fees to a minimum in order to make it affordable for everyone. Therefore, unfortunately, we have been unable to offer assistance to those who are currently non-members.
PLEASE, please help us by encouraging colleagues who aren’t currently members of the Benevolent Fund to join. You can apply to join on via our website: www.wmpben.co.uk
Times have dramatically changed for all of us and we want to carry on supporting you the best way we can.
I want to thank you for your continued patience and understanding so far this year. We are looking forward to having you back at our holiday homes and welcoming new members to the fund.
Stay safe and keep well.