This month started for me in Swanwick, Derbyshire where I was invited to brief the annual gathering of the National Police Chaplain’s Conference about the PTC and about St George’s Police Children’s Trust (SGPCT).
Many of the police chaplains were new to their role, although interestingly enough some of them are former police officers, and it was an opportunity to update the multi faith group about what we do at the PTC and SGPCT, to allow them to signpost some of our work and services when they are out and about on their work providing moral support and spiritual guidance to our police officers.
The following week I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Police Bravery Awards in London which as well as being an enjoyable occasion, is also a humbling affair.
This year there were 69 nominations from 40 forces and quite frankly any of the nominees could have won on the night, but the overall winner was PC Sean Cannon from West Yorkshire Police who in June 2015 rescued 5 people including 4 children from a burning house. Incredibly Sean was also involved in another incident 2 years ago, where he had rescued someone else from a house fire in Bradford, so there is obviously a bit of a theme going on here, but I suspect that although Sean would not shrink from doing his duty again should he need to, he would also be delighted if he did not have to run into any more house fires for the rest of his career!
As well as welcoming a variety of visitors to the PTC this month including from the Lincolnshire Police Federation, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and North Yorkshire Police Federation, the PTC team have also pushed out and contributed to a variety of briefings for new student officers in West Yorkshire Police, Retirement Seminars to ensure that we continue to sign up our future retirees as PTC donors, and Peter Moore also managed to attend with some of his fundraising team a West Yorks Police Post Incident Management Seminar in Gomersall to explain about the services on offer at the PTC. Events like this are the lifeblood of PTC and SGPCT and we are always keen and happy to visit and speak at outside events, so if you do have things that you want us to be aware of or contribute to, then do please let us know.
The final event of this month that I attended on behalf of the PTC was the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) Memorial Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire which is always held on the last Sunday of the month of July. This is a chance for the police family to pause, reflect and remember their loved ones who have died in service not just over the last 12 months, but for all the time, and this was reflected by one of the speakers who talked about his father who had been murdered whilst on duty over 40 years ago.
The event is always extremely well attended by all of the police family with representatives from all forces, but of course the really important people at these events are the family members of the fallen officers, both young and old. It focuses the mind of everyone, and is a pertinent reminder of why we do what we do at the PTC and of course at SGPCT, and provides some measure of comfort and reassurance to family members that not only are their loved ones not forgotten, but for them once a member of the police family, always a member of the police family.
That is it for this month.