It’s that time of year to mercifully spare you the personal musings and ramblings of our esteemed CEO as it’s my turn again to compile a blog. For those who don’t know me, I am Liam Kelly proud Chair of the Board of Trustees for the PTC and St Georges Police Children’s Trust charities. It is always a pleasure to be able to provide an update on the charities’ goings on and future plans so sit back, relax and afford me a few minutes of your time.
It’s hard to believe that my last blog was almost two years ago, not that anything of any real significance has happened in the intervening period! I don’t think any of us could have foreseen or believed the impact COVID-19 would have on our everyday lives when it first arrived on our doorsteps in early 2020. Obviously both PTC centres had to close all in Patient treatment services on two occasions due to the lockdown restrictions and although reopened now, are still operating on a restricted capacity for continued Patient and staff safety. To our wonderful staff, many thanks for ensuring that both Centres have been able to reopen again. For those Patients awaiting residential treatment, you can be sure when it is safe to do so that the PTCs will be returning to maximum capacity, so thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
The lockdowns have also had a direct impact on how the Board of Trustees conducted its business. Despite the Centres being closed to Patients, there were still a great deal of matters needing deliberation, discussion and decisions to be taken. A Trustees Executive Group was established to maintain this governance and the group collectively had to adjust to having online meetings and all the fun that brings. Meetings regularly contain the following: “Can you hear me?”, “You’re on mute”, “You’ve frozen”, “He/She’s dropped out”. However, despite this we have managed to keep things running as best possible and have supported the CEO in his strategic and operational leadership role. Fingers crossed, if restrictions continue to ease, the Board can resume having face-to-face meetings again later this summer.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Back on the Beat Cycling Sportif was cancelled and the 2021 event had to be carried out virtually to comply with social distancing requirements. For my sins, on 16th May 2021 I donned the lycra and somehow managed to complete a 100 mile solo ride in just under 5 and a half hours. Thanks to all who also took part and raised some much needed funds. As always, if any of you are looking to jump out of a plane, wrestle a bear, run a marathon (or several!) or do any sort of challenge, please keep both the PTC and St Georges charities in mind as beneficiaries for any fundraising. Fundraising is an integral part for both charities to continue to be sustainable in the long term. The DRCE team at Harrogate would be delighted to provide assistance and support to you if you do decide to fundraise, so please get in touch!
At St Andrews our Harrogate Centre, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, our expansion building programme was thankfully able to continue. After many meetings and much blood, sweat and tears (particularly from our CEO, Centre Manager Adele Martin, Chief Finance Officer Peter Moore and Vice-Chair Craig Grandison), I am pleased to say that it has finally been completed and we look forward to getting the facilities open to Patients as soon as we can. On Tuesday 22nd June 2021, the Chair of Police Care UK, Mark Lindsay MBE and I, had the pleasure of unveiling a commemorative foundation stone in the refurbished courtyard area. Police Care UK provided a major grant to enable the construction of the new buildings and we look forward to ongoing collaborative work with them in the development of additional bespoke mental health programmes. We are really excited that this joint working will enable both the development and complimenting of our existing programmes and provide more services to our Patient cadre. The PTC Board of Trustees are committed and keen to ‘future proof’ our charities so we collectively continue to work to seek new supporters and revenue streams, promote the ongoing need for new donors, re-evaluate what we can or could provide and exercise proper due diligence to ensure we are becoming more effective and efficient in how we do what we do. But our charities continue to need help. They need more supporters and Ambassadors to raise awareness and promote what we provide, to share the positive news and encourage as many as possible to donate so that both charities can continue to evolve and grow and provide the ongoing assistance and fantastic support that’s needed both now and in the future.
It’s now time for me to finish this blog. I hope you can see that both charities are relevant and are making a really positive impact within the Police Family. I urge you to keep promoting and supporting us so we can keep doing what we do.
I finish with some life advice from Audrey Hepburn: “Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE. The word itself says ‘I’M POSSIBLE!’”.
Keep believing. Take care and keep safe.
Chair, Board of Trustees for PTC and SGPCT charities.