I think that it is important to start this month’s blog to by paying our respects to PC Dave Phillips from Merseyside Police who was tragically killed on duty in the early hours of Monday 5th of October 2015.
It is a reminder to all of us if we needed it of the dangers that our police officers face each and every day, and the fact that the most routine of situations can suddenly escalate, putting the Thin Blue Line in the way of harm and danger. I think that it is tribute to all of our Police Officers that like Dave Phillips, although they all know that inherent sense of risk that lies beneath almost everything that they do, they continue to come to work every day and to put their lives on the line to ensure public safety.
We were proud at the PTC to lower the Flags at both centres at Half –Mast where they remained for the whole week, and for all of our patients and staff to gather around the Flag Poles on Tuesday 6 October for a Minute’s Silence to honour Dave’s memory, and to pay tribute to his sacrifice.
I am conscious that anything else that I write this month is going to seem pretty insignificant alongside Dave’s death, so I will keep this month’s blog fairly short, and in line with the tone of the first paragraph. We have as is the norm welcomed a number of visitors to the PTC over the last few months. Notable amongst these were DCC Drew Harris from PSNI, Dr Alan Billings the PCC from South Yorkshire Police, and Peter Sweeney and Sharon Ashurst from the Blue Lamp Foundation. We have also sent out teams from the PTC to brief groups of new Student Officers, retirement seminars and to engage with Police Federations, all of which is an important aspect of both fund raising for the PTC, and of course in raising awareness of our work and treatment.
It is also worth highlighting that we welcomed back on Friday 16 October Paddy Tipping who is the PCC for Nottinghamshire and who visited us earlier on in the year. Paddy was so impressed with our facilities and treatment, that he has made a £10,000 donation to the PTC to support our work. Not all PCCs give us donations so we were particularly delighted that Paddy has chosen the PTC to be a worthy recipient of what is a substantial sum of money, and thank him and the PCC team in Nottinghamshire for helping us to help our police patients.
I also took the opportunity to go and brief the Association of Chief Officers for the Special Constabulary at the College of Policing at Ryton on Saturday 17 October as Special Constables are now eligible to sign up as donors to the PTC, and then moved back up to York where I attended the Annual Legal Service in the Minster on Sunday 17 October. This is an important event for the PTC and we are one of their 2 charity beneficiaries this year, and events such as this make an important contribution to providing funds and money for the PTC.
I will close the Blog this month with reference to where I started.
I was pleased to attend the National Police Memorial Service which was held in Edinburgh this year on Sunday 27 September. This is an Annual event that rotates around the 4 countries of the UK and is a chance for the whole police family to gather together and to honour those police officers who have fallen not just over the last 12 months, but to also honour those many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the years. I am pleased to say that the event was extremely well attended with representatives from all police forces in the UK, and the PTC Trustees were very much in evidence amongst the attendees, as were our friends from the many other police charities out there such as COPS. Events such as this are always both emotional and humbling, but an important part in the police calendar that is worth pausing and marking.
I think that is an appropriate note to end the Blog on for this month, so wherever you are and whatever you are doing, stay safe.