It’s that time of year again to mercifully spare you the musings and ramblings of our esteemed CEO as I’ve been asked to compile a blog. For those who don’t know me, I am Liam Kelly, the proud Chair of the Board of Trustees for the PTC and St Georges Police Children Trust Charities. It is always a pleasure to be able to provide an update on the charities goings on and future plans, so sit back, relax and afford me a few minutes of your time.
Firstly, I will bring you back to May time when I attended at Harrogate, not principally as a Trustee, but as a patient. I have been somewhat fortunate over the years to have had fairly good health but as old father time is catching up with me, I creak a bit more and just don’t seem to be able to recover from injuries as quickly as I used to. Thankfully, as a PTC donor I was eligible to attend for physiotherapy treatment. I fully immersed myself in the patient experience and was able to gauge first hand, exactly what the PTC provides to both former and serving colleagues from right across the UK.
As a Trustee, I am fully aware of the exceptional work the PTC staff provide at both centres. My insight as a patient reinforced what I already knew and I am most grateful that the PTC is blessed to have staff who fully buy in to making each patient’s stay the best that it can possibly be. The collaborative team effort, the inspirational commitment, the doing both the small and big things really well, is how the staff make the PTC experience a truly magical one for each and every visitor to both the centres.
The CEO, Deputy CEO and Senior Leadership Team fully embrace that it requires everyone to make things just right. So, needless to say, my patient stay was a very positive experience and in conversations with fellow patients, I could see the clear health benefits, both physically and psychologically, of being able to access the PTC’s programmes. As such, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the PTC staff for all that they do.
But unfortunately for me it was not simply twelve days of recuperation. As Chair, I had a few meetings to slot in and also volunteered to assist our wonderful DRCE fundraising team with the Back on the Beat Cycling sportive. It was great to see over 90 people signing up for the event and raising much needed funds for the PTC charity. This event involved a great deal of blood, sweat and tears to ensure it was a success so a massive thank you to all the volunteers and staff for all their efforts. This was the third year of this event so we may be looking to do something different in the future. Keep an eye out for our fundraising plans. As always, if any of you are looking to jump out of a plane, wrestle a crocodile, run a marathon (or several!) or do any sort of challenge, please keep both the PTC and St Georges Charities in mind as beneficiaries from any fundraising. Fundraising is an integral part for both Charities to continue to be sustainable in the long term. The DRCE team at Harrogate would be delighted to provide assistance and support to you if you do decide to fundraise, so please get in touch!
Following the sportive, I had a meeting with the CEO and Chair of Police Care UK Charity. I am hopeful that going forward our respective Charities can work closely and collaboratively together in providing support and assistance to those in need. I also welcomed back my fellow Trustees and chaired a board meeting. As always the catch up was very productive with lots of discussions and important business completed. As the meeting concluded, I had the honour of presenting our Deputy CEO Paul Grant with a certificate to acknowledge 20 years’ service with the PTC. A significant milestone so a massive well done to Paul for all his previous and ongoing hard work and efforts, primarily at our Castlebrae centre.
That’s May done so let’s move quickly onto June. I was joined at the Police Federation for Northern Ireland annual conference in Belfast by our CEO and President, Baroness Harris. The Trustees convened again at Harrogate for some Charity Governance Training and our Annual General Meeting. The AGM was well attended and it is a real pleasure to be able to welcome and thank guests, friends and colleagues and to showcase what our charities have done over the past twelve months. It also provides an opportunity to highlight the ongoing challenges facing both charities and outline our future plans, the major one being a proposed expansion of the facilities at our Harrogate centre.
Planning permission has finally been granted for two additional buildings. Some enabling work has been completed and if everything goes to plan, the PTC hope to be able to announce commencement of the capital build project with a view to having it fully completed by Autumn 2020. We are excited that this will enable us to both expand and complement our existing programmes and provide more patient capacity. The Board of Trustees are keen to ‘future proof’ both charities so we collectively continue to work to seek new supporters and revenue streams, promote the ongoing need for new donors, re-evaluate what we can or could provide and exercise proper due diligence to ensure we are becoming effective and efficient in how we do what we do. But the Charities need help. They need more supporters and Ambassadors to raise awareness and promote what we provide, to share the positive news and encourage as many as possible to donate so that both charities can continue to evolve and grow and provide the ongoing assistance and fantastic support that’s needed both now and in the future.
An example of supporters going the ‘extra mile’ happened on Saturday 22nd June 2019. An elite Peleton of 22 riders from 17 of our Constituent Forces, completed a 249 mile bike ride between our centres in just over 16 hours! This challenge has so far raised over £30,000 which will be allocated to support our Psychological Wellbeing Programme. I managed to talk PSNI ACC Alan Todd into taking part on behalf of our Police Service and I accompanied the riders on the day from the comfort of a support van. The volunteers and the cyclists were truly inspiring and the sense of elation and realisation over what had been achieved at the finish line, was something I will personally never forget. So a massive thank you to all the volunteers, riders, sponsors and staff for everything that they did. More details about this event can be found on the PTC website and donations can still be made both online and via text.
It’s time for me to finish this blog. I hope you can see that both charities are relevant and are making a really positive impact within the Police Family. I urge you to keep promoting and supporting us so we can keep doing what we do.
Some life advice and I’m done: “Never underestimate the importance of having a person in your life that can always make you smile”.
Take care and keep safe.
Liam Kelly, Chair of The Board of Trustees for PTC and SGPCT