There is no doubt that the most significant event of the last month has been the grand opening of the new Castlebrae Health and Fitness Complex. The complex was completed and put into use some time ago, but we did want to have a formal opening ceremony at some stage and we secured Michael Matheson, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice who did the honours for us on 28 September.
It was a well-attended event with Federation and police partner representatives from both the serving and retired police community from both sides of the border, and I am pleased to say that the Chief Constable of Police Scotland Phil Gormley also attended to show his support for the opening.
The opening ceremony did not disrupt business too much, and we are now back to normal. I think that it is fair to say that the new facilities really are superb, and are already getting lots of use, and we are now in the process of trying to secure some funding to update and replace the gym equipment within the centre as well.
Although this was the main event of this month’s blog, it was not of course the only event. We have continued to welcome an array of visitors to both centres, and these have included DCC Rose Fitzpatrick from Police Scotland, Jim Black from Harrogate NARPO and Holly Lynch who is the Member of Parliament for Halifax, and actively working to raise awareness of the growing number of assaults on police officers, and campaigning for heavier sentences for those who are convicted of this offence. Holly was accompanied by her father Jim who is a retired police officer and had in fact attended the PTC 15 years ago, and it was an opportunity to brief her on the work that we are doing in terms of treating and supporting our officers.
We were also very proud to welcome Paul and June Bone for a visit to the PTC this month who are the parents of Fiona Bone who was murdered 4 years ago in Manchester alongside her colleague Nicola Hughes. As well as being great people who have conducted themselves with enormous dignity over the years, they were kind enough to make a donation to the PTC to help purchase some new equipment for the patients. I was also very pleased to welcome Jon Hassall who is the Chair of Lincolnshire Police and their Charitable Police Trust, who had kindly nominated the PTC as one of their beneficiary charities this year and dropped in to present a donation.
You will also be interested to hear that we have continued to push out and engage with our donating police forces over the last few weeks and this has included a number of PTC and St George’s Police Children’s Trust Briefs to new student officers within West Yorkshire Police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, and others. Statistically new officers are less likely to sign up to the PTC that their longer in service counterparts, so I would ask all of you reading this to try and encourage your younger in service colleagues to sign up as donors to the PTC, and of course to keep on donating.
We have also tried to push out into the local community recently as well, myself and Peter Moore the PTC CFO attended an event in Harrogate sponsored by Barclays Bank to mark the 100 years that we have banked with them which generated a few thousand pounds for the PTC, and I also attended the North Eastern Circuit Annual Legal Service in York Minster on Sunday 16 October who had also nominated the PTC as one of their charities. Events like this are not only important as fundraising events, they also help to raise greater awareness within local communities of the PTC, and the important work that we do in supporting serving and retired police officers.
The final note to ends on for this month’s blog is that during the period both Centres of the PTC were assessed against the Investors in People (IIP) standard. I am delighted to stay that we passed the assessment with flying colours, and achieved the coveted Health and Wellbeing Award, the only one of this type that our Assessor has awarded this year. We are very proud of all of our employees at the PTC who Patient Feedback Forms consistently tell us are our very best asset, so I am pleased that not only do we have external endorsement of how well we look after our employees, this ensures that they in turn are better equipped to look after our patients when they attend for treatment.
That is all for this month’s blog, stay safe wherever you are.