Devon and Cornwall PoliceDevon and Cornwall PoliceDevon and Cornwall Police

Change of Fund Rules – Over 70’s regular donations – Update from the Chairman

Dear Members

The main purpose of the change is so that we can ensure we have up to date records on our members, month on month.  The only way we can realistically achieve this, is through regular donations via Pension for retired members or Pay department for serving members.

The Trustees understand that some Members are unhappy with having to restart donations, but this decision was made within the Fund’s governance structure and in the interests of treating all members fairly.

To contextualise this; the donations we would get from a ‘lifetime’ Member would work out as follows if we based this on 60 years’ worth of donations based on our current regular donation of £3.30 per calendar month.   For example, £3.30 x 12 = £39.60 per year.   Therefore 60 years contributions at this current rate would equate to £2,376.    Naturally, this is a wonderful donation, but  this has to be put into context of the levels of grant funding we regularly award to Members and their next of kin, where it can be demonstrated there is compassionate and financial need for the Charity to assist.

For example, the Lump sum grant awarded to new widows / partners who qualify within the rules, is currently set at £6000.00.  We award £2,150 per Dependent Child, per annum, in educational grants.   We also issue a substantial number of Emergency Grants and Special Grants to members [or their qualifying next of kin] who are in need.   These often include modifications to make their homes accessible and safe, mobility scooters, wet rooms, heating repairs, car repairs, help with hospital visiting costs such as travel, parking, refreshments and overnight stays for next of kin.   As you may appreciate, these awards are financially costly, but these are things that really make significant and meaningful differences to our Members, their widows or dependent children.  I hope that this helps to demonstrate that for those Members who receive help from the Fund, the underpinning regular donations made over the lifetime of their membership would in no way cover the levels of the awards made, should they or their family be in need of help.

Trustees wish to emphasise that the Charity really appreciates all regular donations from our Membership, and as a Charity, we provide excellent support for those of our Membership, who have financial need and compassionate reasons to approach us for assistance.

The Fund is not based on the legal structure of an ‘insurance policy’.  We are a registered Charity and therefore we are obliged to comply with the Charity Commission guidelines of being able to demonstrate that there is a ‘financial need’ when making any financial grant awards.  On the flip side, we help our Members throughout their lifetime, if it is needed, so we don’t just stop eligibility once a member has reached a certain age [life insurance and health policies are a prime example of this].

We rely on robust administration of the Fund, by ensuring that the investment portfolio is monitored carefully, ensuring this provides regular dividend payments to fund our grant making activities.   We do not receive any Government funding or financial support from Devon and Cornwall Police.  In effect we are ‘self-funded’ though careful investment, regular donations from Members and some wonderful legacies we have received in recent years.

Funding of this work is our priority, and we must ensure that our investment pot, can sustain the work we do year on year.   This is becoming increasingly important as many of our members are  often  living with complex and challenging health needs.  If we must eat into the capital investment for larger portions of this, then the longevity of the Fund for all of our Membership, past, present and future, would be undermined.   We aim to ensure that our regular dividends from the investment cover our Charitable work each year and ensure there is capacity to meet any unexpected increases in applications in the foreseeable future.   This is also a very important reason why we need to ensure our Member records are up to date, so we can anticipate funding levels for the future.

Expanding the Fund is also very important as we want to encourage more Members to join us, and remain with the Charity throughout their [and their partner’s] lifetime.   It is so sad when we find out that an Officer or retired Officer is not a member of the Fund and they or their family member needs our help.

In 2018 the Fund issued in excess of £240,000 in such grants and the previous year we issued in excess of £300,000.  Such awards can only be made to a serving or retired Member of the fund, or one of their immediate family, such as a partner, spouse, widow or dependent child.

The Fund and all of the volunteer Trustees work really hard to provide this level of service to any of our Members, where there is a financial need and compassionate reasons.

The Trustees recommend all Members watch our short video and read our Annual reports which can be found on www.policecompassionatefund.co.uk   This gives an insight into the work we carry out for our Serving and Retired Members, with the Funds we receive from regular donations and careful investment.

The return to full subscription membership was unanimously supported by all of the Trustees, and early indications are that this positive solution to a very difficult problem has resulted in some very positive outcomes as we have managed to contact some Members or their family, where there is currently a need for us to put in some grant funding support.  In some of these cases, they had forgotten they were indeed a Member of the Fund and the news that assistance may be available to them has come as a welcome relief.   This perhaps demonstrates the importance of making this change in our Fund Rules, so that we can robustly keep track of our Members throughout every stage of their life.

If you have any questions you are encouraged to contact the Administrator or one of the Trustees.

Yours sincerely

Mr. Nigel Rabbitts

Chair

Web design by Ballyhoo