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   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



NOTICE: is hereby given that the Fifty-second Annual General Meeting of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Widows’, Orphans’ and Compassionate Fund will be held at the Devon Motel, Old Matford Lane Marsh Barton, Exeter. EX2 8XU commencing at 12.30hrs on Monday 8th July 2019.

Any Fund member may attend and can obtain an agenda from the Fund Administrator telephone, 01392 574332 or email

In addition, the 2018 Annual Report and Financial Statements are in the process of being prepared and will shortly be available to view on the Fund website or a hard copy can be obtained on request from the Fund Administrator.



Dear Members

The Trustees met on the 2nd of July 2018, at the Annual General Meeting.

After consultation with the Trustees and NARPO, it has been agreed at the Annual General Meeting held on the 2nd of July 2018, that Free Membership to members reaching the age of 70 years be abolished forthwith.

The decision to remove this rule, was taken so that we ensure that we have a robust and lawful procedure which allows us keep in contact with our Members, via the monthly payments information we receive from your Pension and the Pension provider – KIER.

Under new legislation which deals with personal data, the Charity is no longer able to make enquiries with the Pension service, in respect of ‘Free members’.  In turn, KIER are unable to pass us details of reported deaths, unless they can identify the person as a member of our Fund.   This has led to situations whereby a member has passed away, without the knowledge of the Fund.  There has then been a delay in their partner being contacted, and advised of their right to make an application to be considered for the Lump Sum Grant of up to £6000.

Members who are currently on ‘Free Membership’ are requested to submit their current contact information to the Fund Administrator, either in writing or via email to

Once we have all of the updated information submitted into our Membership database, we will contact all ‘over 70 Free’ Members and ask them to complete a form, to re start their monthly contributions, and where agreed, allow us to reclaim Gift Aid tax relief on these donations.

Those Members who decline to restart payments or decline to return the completed form, will unfortunately forego their membership rights once the review has been completed.     We seek to avoid this situation, and if any Member is concerned that they will be unable to afford the monthly cost of £3.30 then we advise them to contact the Administrator to discuss their situation as alternative measures may be available to members who are in financial need.

We appreciate this change in the rules may be unpopular, but we would take this opportunity to reassure you that we have acted in the best interests of all of our Members and their families.   We must ensure that we can ‘track and trace’ all of our Members and their partners through Salary or Pensions, especially at the time when the ‘worst’ happens

In 2017 we awarded in excess of £300,000 in Grants to Serving and Retired Officers, their widowed partners and dependent Children.   We want to continue providing this service in a timely manner, especially in respect of the Lump Sum Grant to our new widows, so we hope you understand the reasons for having to make this change.

We will keep you updated on the progress of this reform.

Yours sincerely

Mr Nigel Rabbitts


2017 Annual Report and Financial Statements

017 Annual Report and Financial Statements The 2017 Annual Report and Financial Statements are published on this website and will shortly be published on the Charity Commission Website.  If you would like a printed copy to be sent to you, please contact the Administrator on  or leave a message on 01392 354773 with your name and address.

Extra-ordinary General Meeting 2018


NOTICE is hereby given that an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Widows’, Orphans’ and Compassionate Fund will be held at:

The Conference Room,


3 Barton Rd, Okehampton

EX20 1NW

 Monday 1st October 2018, commencing at 12.30 pm,

Okehampton is a working Police Station so Members are requested to notify the Administrator of your attendance prior to the date of the Meeting taking place, and to bring suitable photographic ID – Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.  Vehicle passes can be obtained from the Administrator.

 The Agenda for which is as follows:

1          To read a Notice and Extract from SharePoint and our website convening the meeting.

2          To consider the following recommendations of the Management Committee:

3          That the legal structure and Constitution of the Fund is changed to :-

 “A charitable Incorporated Organisation.  To take effect on the 1st of January 2018 or shortly thereafter, pending the conclusion of the legal and administration procedures required to achieve this.  A copy of the new Constitution has been circulated to all Trustees for consultation with our members.  Members can request a copy from the Administrator.

4          To consider a recommendation of the Management Committee:

That if it is agreed to Change the Legal structure and Constitution,  the membership categories will not be opened up until such time as a satisfactory Actuarial Report has been completed and the Trustees are satisfied that we have the financial capacity to widen our membership base, whilst meeting our existing responsibilities to our current Members and their families

5          To consider a recommendation of the Management Committee if agenda item 3 and 4 are agreed:

We recommend the Charity adopt the proposed change of Rules in a staged manner, as approved by our Trustees and our Advisers.

In respect of widening Membership categories and Trustees from these categories – this will only be implemented, pending the satisfactory outcome of the findings of an Approved Actuary, our Financial & Legal Advisers, our Accountant and Auditors.

This work is needed so that we can fully assess whether the Fund can sustain the changes to our membership criteria, whilst ensuring we meet our existing responsibilities to our current Membership and their dependants.

 Copies have been made available to our Members, via our Website and Share Point.

 Note that Rules can be amended through the normal process of consultation with the Trustees, and where appropriate the calling an Annual General Meeting or Extra Ordinary General Meeting as required.

5          To consider a recommendation of the Management Committee to Change the name of the Charity to [one of ] the following four:

            List of suggestions thus far:





THE SOUTH WEST BLUE LIGHT COMPASSIONATE FUND – Unfortunately this suggestion cannot be considered as it is legally ‘too similar’ to the Blue Lamp Trust and Blue Lamp Foundation

No ‘Additional business’ can be raised at this meeting as Members have 28 days to consider any proposals made at this meeting.

The Chairman

            Mr N. Rabbitts

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