We’re giving serving and retired Officers and Staff, PCSOs, Specials, and their family members the chance to nominate a good cause they think would benefit from a bit of financial support. We have committed £50,000 to the scheme this autumn, with grants from £100 to £1,000 available.
In our spring 2017 Force for Good, we received 2,708 nominations and gave out 212 grants. Why not be in with a chance of joining them this autumn? Just submit an application here by 30 September 2017.
Here’s a taster of some of the projects across the UK that we’ve helped so far this year…
Sandy Osborne, Detective Constable in the Investigations Department at Avon and Somerset Police, nominated The Young Crime Writers scheme – a writing competition for young people. At the start of this year, the prize funding was withdrawn, so Police Mutual was thrilled to step in with a £100 grant as part of Force for Good.
Also a published writer alongside the day job, Sandy said: “I was delighted to be asked to be part of the Young Crime Writers’ judging panel again. It’s a privilege to read the work of keen young writers and encourage them to continue beyond the competition. Thanks to Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant we can offer the winner a prize once again, which will hopefully prove to be an added incentive to budding young writers.”
HAFWAY Youth Club received a £300 grant from Police Mutual after PCSO David Kelly, from Ashley Bridge Police Station, nominated the initiative. The Youth Club enables young local people to get involved in community events with the aim of progressing their personal development whilst also caring for neighbours.
David said: “HAFWAY offers a safe place to divert young people away from potential criminal activity, and helps them to thrive despite the many disadvantages they face. Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant will go towards purchasing new kitchen equipment which will be used by the young people to develop vital life skills.”
Visit https://www.HAFWAY.org for more information.
£500 of Force for Good funding went to Dartington Landworks, a charity that provides a supported route back into employment for those in prison or at risk of going to prison. Detective Sergeant Anya Teakle nominated the initiative, which is run by Chris Parsons.
Chris said: “Not only has the local community become supportive of the project, we’ve also informed them of the difficulties of resettlement, and they’re increasingly coming on board with it. We now have over 1,000 registered supporters. Since opening in July 2013, we have supported 40 people in prison or at risk of going to prison, with 93% of our day-release trainees now in employment, and a reoffending rate of just 4%. Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant will help us to continue this and go towards purchasing Personal Protective Equipment for our participants.”
For more information, visit www.landworks.org.uk.
‘Day Outings for the Elderly in Our Community’ received a £500 grant after Christine McLeod, a member of Police Staff, submitted an application for the scheme. Christine wanted to help in the face of council budget cuts for the elderly in her community. The initiative provides entertainment, trips and support for elderly people in Stornoway.
Christine explains: “Winter is particularly long and lonely for the older people in our community so this will provide them with an opportunity to get together and enjoy a couple of days beyond the confines of their own homes. Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant will help improve the general well-being of elderly people in the community by allowing them to forget, for a short time, their bodily ailments and be a general 'pick-me-up' after their long winter.”
Autism Conference was awarded a £1,000 grant. Debbie Marshall, who has worked with Lincolnshire Police over the past seven years, is also the founder of CANadda, an adult support group that runs the Autism Conference. The conference aims to educate the wider community to help make autism more accepted and better understood.
For more information please visit www.canadda.org.uk
‘Fabulous and Beautiful’ was given £200 after Verna Norton, a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police, applied for funding via Force for Good.
The initiative is run by breast cancer surgeon Mr. Ashraf Patel and provides women undergoing chemotherapy therapy with false eyelashes, eyebrows and wigs.
Verna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. During her treatment, she benefited from Fabulous and Beautiful’s support and learnt how many other Police officers were also suffering from the illness. She has since decided to speak out and give something back to those who helped her beat cancer by writing a book called “Same Path, Different Shoes”, an insightful and honest account of her own experience.
Verna said: "Even though these women are 'fabulous and beautiful' already, Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant will help bring back their self confidence and remove the stigma of just being a cancer victim rather than being a woman. If this grant allows just one woman to go out with her self-confidence boosted enough to feel she is a woman first and a cancer victim second then it is worth it. In today's society, where a woman's appearance is still important, these initiatives allow women to focus on their health instead of worrying what other people are saying about their lack of hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.”
The Cameron Grant Memorial Trust received £300 after serving West Midlands Police Officer Frances George nominated the charity. The Trust aims to raise awareness of youth suicide and is run by Carol and Evan Grant who set it up after their son Cameron took his own life in November 2014, aged 21.
The Trust produces a number of items, including drinks coasters, carrying the message “there is always someone you can talk to” combined with the contact details for local health organisations.
Carol said: “Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant will be used to produce more versions of Cameron's Coasters, as well as credit card sized plastic cards with information about where to get help. We will expand their distribution with an immediate focus on local schools, universities and colleges. Each version will be customised with local contact details. If you know a community or educational establishment that might benefit from Cameron's Coasters, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Visit http://www.camgrant.org.uk/ for more information.
A ‘Tracker Scheme’ for Dementia patients was awarded £200 to help local people whose relatives are suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia and regularly go missing.
Community Sergeant Philip Cowin, who made the nomination, said: “The initiative provides reassurance to the family of a Dementia sufferer and means that the Dementia sufferer themselves is found earlier which can prevent a tragic outcome. Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant will support poorer families with the cost of an ArchAngel tracker, which is usually £5 per month, making it a ‘life saver’ for many.”
The Llandudno Junior Football initiative received £100 after Michael Smith, a Neighborhood Policing Team Officer, applied for a Force for Good grant. Michael started the scheme with the aim of giving young locals a safe environment to play football and make new friends. The initiative supports young people from the Tudno Ward of Llandudno.
Michael said: ”The initiative provides an outlet three times a week to keep children off the streets and develop a healthy interest in sport as well as helping in their community through regular litter clean ups. Police Mutual’s Force for Good grant will go towards buying raincoats for our junior members to wear when out in the community to identify themselves and keep them dry. We will proudly have the Force for Good logo on the rear of the jackets so the community can see who helped us.”
The ‘Crosby Community Bike Project’ will be able to continue its work after being given £400 of Force for Good money.
Police Officer James Main nominated the ‘Crosby Community Bike Project’, which is run by not-for-profit housing provider Ongo in partnership with the Humberside Police’s Early Intervention Team that James serves.
The project imparts the skills required to fix donated bikes in order to help jobseekers who have secured paid work and need a method of transport. James Main said: “The Early Intervention Team is a new Humberside Police Team which is based within North Lincolnshire Council and looks at supporting and assisting families to keep them away from the Criminal Justice System, by working with partners and the community. We work in partnership supporting projects that actively make a positive difference to people’s lives. I nominated this project for funding because it is making a positive impact on members of the community who need help and support to get them into employment, training or volunteering roles.”
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Please visit the following for more information: https://www.ongo.co.uk/support/get-into-work/current-projects/.