Just when you thought we would never make it, December, Christmas and the last blog of the year, they all arrive just like that!
I must confess that I felt that 2023 started incredibly slowly but once it got going, it really seemed to race on by. December is always a month of reflection and having cast my eye back over the year’s activities, it seems to have been action packed and chock full of visitors, collaborations, big decisions and of course all the excitement of a Royal Visit by our Patron the Princess Royal to PTC Harrogate in September. I think that we have covered the highlights of the year through all of our social media accounts and previous blogs so I do not want to go over that again, but I think it is worth reinforcing the superb work that goes on day in and day out by the whole team at both centres that we just take for granted, but really makes the PTC what it is, and for those of us who work here, such a fantastic place to be.
I want to use this month’s Blog to mark out three individuals who are leaving us this year but who have made an outstanding contribution to the PTC over many years. The first is Craig Grandison who has been a trustee and Chair of the Finance and Human Resources Committee since 2014. Craig retires from the police service and the Board early in 2024, but he has chaired one of our key strategic boards for virtually the whole of his time as a trustee with professionalism, good humour and great dedication. It is very much au revoir to Craig because we are fortunate that as he retires, he will then assume a new position on the Board as our new Treasurer next year.
Craig is taking up the Treasurer’s appointment which is being vacated by Pete Henson who is retiring. Pete was a former PTC Trustee and retired police officer from GMP, who then took up an appointment as Treasurer and has had an almost 20-year association with both PTC and The Police Children’s Charity (TPCC). When he arrived as Treasurer, he had a lot of work to do as the Board and finances/accounts of both charities were in a very different place from where they are today. Pete has been at the forefront of leading a huge shake up and restructuring which has helped to put both charities in the very strong positions that they are in today. He has also been a huge source of good advice and challenge to me as CEO, and although I have not necessarily always wanted to hear what he has told me as it has sometimes made my life a bit more difficult, it has always been necessary for me to hear this advice and it has always led to me being better informed and more capable of making some of the difficult decisions that I have had to take. Ultimately it has been critical that I have had someone like Pete to give me his unvarnished, honest and frank opinion and suggestions and both I and the charities have been left in a much stronger position as a result of this advice by him.
My final farewell is to Adele Martin who has been the Centre Manager at PTC Harrogate for over 20 years. Adele’s contribution to the PTC is hard to capture. She has presided over a number of huge changes to the centre including multi million pound real estate expansions that have resulted on the transformation of the Centre to a very different place to the one it was when she arrived. She has been based in her office on the first floor at Harrogate but if something needed to be done, she was always the first to volunteer, first on the scene to do it and impressed everyone who ever met her with her hard work, dedication to the PTC, and absolute professionalism in everything that she has done. I have also hugely welcomed her personal advice and support to me at all times in my 9 years at the PTC. I always tell all my team that they should never be afraid to tell me what I need to know and if they think I have got it wrong to tell me so. I think it fair to say that Adele has never been shy of doing this and to be honest, she has normally been right. Having people like Adele around me has made me a better CEO for the charities and helped to put the PTC and our Harrogate Centre in the very strong place that it is today. I will be sorry both personally and professionally to see her depart to what I hope will be a long and active retirement, which will have grandchildren and sheep (in that order!) at the forefront of what she does.
Sorry though we are to see the departure of Craig, Pete and Adele, the PTC will go on and we have lots of plans for 2024 and beyond. Ricky Wood from the Scottish Police Federation will take over as the Chair of the FHRC, Craig Grandison as already mentioned takes over as Treasurer and Janine Green will take over as the new Centre Manager at PTC Harrogate. We have lots of other things to keep us busy and to look forward to as well. The PTC will open to all Police Staff from January 2024 which we are preparing for at the moment. We will continue to host the Intensive Trauma Service for Police Care UK at our Harrogate Centre in 2024 and beyond and continue to expand and develop some of our other courses such as the Online Women’s Health Course and a new Job Related Strength and Conditioning Course. All this new activity will of course run alongside the excellent work that we do and will maintain every day on both our Physiotherapy and Wellbeing programmes at both Centres.
Anyway, that will all wait for next year. So let me close this year’s blog by thanking all of you for your support in 2023 whether you are PTC donors, patients or staff members. I hope everyone has the chance to take a break over the holiday period, and for those police officer and staff members, if you are working over the Christmas period, do stay safe, look after yourselves and each other and of course your families and thank you all for your hard work, selfless sacrifice and commitment to help making our country the safe place that it is.
CEO PTC and TPCC