CEO PTC BLOG 18 APR 15- PATRICK CAIRNS
The big news of this blog is that the PTC Trustees have now agreed the Castlebrae Project. Many of you will already be aware of this news already and seen the announcement elsewhere, but I could not miss the opportunity of mentioning it again, particularly as I am writing this Blog entry from Castlebrae at the moment. This really is great news and once the work is completed, will result in a significant improvement to our Centre in Castlebrae, and ensure that we are better able to provide the very best level of support and treatment to both serving and retired Police Officers in the future.
I could probably end the Blog on that point, working on the premise that one should always end on a high note, but we have of course been working on a variety of other issues at the PTC of late. I personally had a discussion with Paul Farmer the CEO of MIND, the Mental Health Charity, on how we at the PTC can work more closely with them in supporting Police Officers with Psychological issues, and concurrent to this, a number of the PTC Team have liaised with other MIND staff members, including hosting a visit to the PTC by their new Help Hotline Leader and Team who are going to man the Blue Light Charities Hotline. For those who may need the numbers and to share the contact details more widely, they are as follows:
0300 303 3999 (local rates)
On a less glamorous side but by no means less important, the PTC has recently been audited and you will be pleased to know that our accounts have been given a good going over by a team of external Auditors who gave us a resounding tick in the box in terms of financial compliance and propriety. We have also been focussing on reviewing and updating our Health and Safety Policies of late, under the stewardship of Adele Martin and Alison Daly, the respective Operations Managers for both St Andrews and Castlebrae.
My final note in this blog is not about the PTC however, it is actually about St George’s Police Children’s Trust (SGPCT). This is a second affiliated charity of which I am the CEO for, and it has evolved into a charity designed to support the children of deceased or incapacitated Police Officers with a range of financial grants. At a donation rate of 20p per week (or £10 per year), the children of Officers can access thousands of pounds of grants to support the through the many phases of life and education up to the age of 25. As far as I am concerned it is an absolute must for every police officer to donate to SGPCT, whether you have children or not! The charity started as Police Orphanage in 1902 and although this closed down in 1956, the old boys and girls, many of who are in their Eighties now, still keep in touch and organise an annual reunion dinner every year in Harrogate.
That Dinner took place on 18 April this year, and was followed by a Coffee Morning at the PTC the following day. I attended both events with my wife and they were also supported by many other members of the St Andrews, Harrogate team, and it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be there, and listen to the many tales of orphanage life in the 1950s, and how so many of the “orphans” built successful and happy lives as they moved into adulthood. They were all enormously grateful of the start that they had been given by St George’s, and I hope that we are continuing to be able to make a difference to the lives of the children of police officers today, who have suffered similar tragedies.