Summer is now in its closing stages and both Centres have remained busy over the period operating at close to full capacity, and with lots of visits to the Centres by a variety of different guests.
The month started with a visit by Chief Constable of Police Scotland Phil Gormley to Castlebrae. This was Mr Gormley’s first visit to the PTC and he spent a number of hours with us chatting to both staff and patients. He was so impressed was with our work, that at the end of the visit, he volunteered his services as a Trustee onto the PTC Board.
That same week we moved smoothly in to the annual PTC and St George’s Police Children’s Trust Strategic Workshop and Trustees Meeting. There have been a number of new trustees who have joined the Board since the last meeting, so it was useful to get some fresh views and ideas within the Boardroom about our future policy and direction and where we see ourselves going over the next 5 – 10 years. The Police Service continues to evolve, and there was recognition amongst all of the trustees that we must continue to evolve with it if we are to continue to provide the class leading treatment that we deliver to our police patients in the medium to long term. Reassuringly there was also a recognition that we are in good order, and the changes that we have rolled out over the last 12 months, have put us in a strong position to deal with some of the challenges that will undoubtedly come our way in the future.
The pace at the PTC continued the following week when we hosted Superintendent Stuart Barton who is the Head of HR at GMP. Stuart was accompanied by Ian Hanson who is the Chair of the PTC Board of Trustees, and it was a useful opportunity to show Stuart what we do, and how this benefits the police service.
We also welcomed that same week Chief Constable Andy Cooke the new Chief of Merseyside Police for his inaugural visit to the PTC. Mr Cooke also confessed during the visit that even though he had been a PTC donor for 31 years, this was the first time that he had actually visited one of the centres, so it was a great opportunity to tell him about our work, and the treatment that we provide to his officers every year. Also noteworthy within this period was the attendance by Graeme Addison from Castlebrae who represented the PTC at the 13th Annual Scottish Police Memorial Service of Remembrance took place at Police Scotland Training College, Tulliallan. As ever it was a solemn occasion which was well attended by the police family.
The PTC team have also continued to push out during the period on a variety of meetings and visits to many our forces, including briefs to new student officers, to tell them about the many benefits of signing up to the PTC and St George’s at the beginning of their career. Another key conference that the Fundraising team attended in September was the NARPO Conference in Torquay. We very much continue to value our relationship with our retired officers, and this was a great opportunity for Fran and Wendy from our Fundraising and Marketing department and Mark Oxley our Head of Clinical Services, to set up a stand at the conference, to take any questions, to publicise the work of the PTC, and of course encourage retired officers to sign up to both the PTC and our lottery, and promote B&B at both Centres.
The second weekend in September was Heritage Weekend. This is a national event where historical and culturally significant buildings up and down the country are open for the public to come in and look around. The PTC decided to throw open the doors of our centre in Harrogate on 11 September to raise greater awareness within the local community of who we are and what we do. Although as with all these things it involved a great deal of extra work by the PTC team of volunteers to open up over the weekend, the event was a great success and a useful opportunity to showcase not just our facilities, but to explain to the visitors a little bit about the stresses and pressures that our police officers operate under every day.
I would like to close this blog by thanking Pete Oram and the entire English Police RUFC Team who over the last several months have been putting together a charity tandem skydive with the Red Devils by many team members, Mark Oxley and Fran Greenwood from the PTC, and 2 Chief Constables (Mike Barton from Durham and Dee Collins from West Yorkshire Police). Rather frustratingly the first scheduled jump date on 3 August was cancelled due to weather restrictions, but Pete Oram and the English Police RUFC jumpers went on to jump on 6 September and raised a huge amount of money for the PTC. The second jump with the other participants is scheduled for the 6 October (weather permitting) and it is not too late to sponsor them. I really would like to pay tribute to Pete Oram and the rest of the English Police RUFC team.
As well as this fantastic effort, Pete and his colleagues are already looking ahead to their next fundraising ventures for the PTC in 2017 with a cycling sportive and fundraising dinner. It is absolutely fantastic to see police officers supporting a police charity that will then be able to help their colleagues. I am fond of saying that police officers are typically great fundraisers, but often forget about their own police charities, so as well as being a great gesture by the guys, it is an example to the rest of us to not be shy about looking inwards for our charity and fundraising activities, rather than looking outwards all the time. Many thanks once again to Pete Oram and his team.
That is a good note to end this month’s blog on, stay safe.