CHARITY OF THE WEEK: We take a look at the important work carried out by The Police Children’s Charity based in Harrogate

Charities across the Harrogate district have had a tough couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we want to highlight those who need your help and support in 2022.

By Lucy Chappell
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:32 am
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:46 am

The Police Children’s Charity is a Harrogate-based registered charity which aims to support police families by helping to ease the financial pressures of bringing up children in the face of life-changing circumstances.

These circumstances could involve the death of the police donor parent or their partner, or where the police donor has to take an early medical retirement.

The police put their lives on the line every day to keep our neighbourhoods and communities safe and free from crime and while no amount of money can replace a parent, support from the charity can provide a degree of financial certainly in difficult times.

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The Police Children's Charity provides support for police families by helping to ease the financial pressures of bringing up children in the face of life-changing circumstances

The charity has been supporting children of the police forces for many years, when the Northern Police Orphanage first opened in 1898.

Costs were funded by thousands of serving police officers who made weekly donations from their pay and other donations were received from well-wishers across the North of England and further afield.

The Orphanage closed in 1954 and two trusts were formed, the St George’s Fund and the Northern Police Orphans Trust, both designed to provide financial grants to eligible children.

In early 2022, the charity went through a rebrand and changed its name to The Police Children’s Charity, to better represent the work that they carry out.

The Police Children's Charity provides support for police families by helping to ease the financial pressures of bringing up children in the face of life-changing circumstances

Like many charities and community groups across the Harrogate district, the Covid-19 pandemic affected the way the organisation worked and they had to adapt their services to ensure that they could still look after those who needed support.

Fran Greenwood, Head of Donor Recruitment and Charity Engagement at The Police Children’s Charity, said: “During the pandemic we continued to support around 300 children and young people through financial grants, however we were not able to get out and about to promote the charity in the same way and therefore have seen a reduction in income.

“Much of our work in recent times has been done remotely but as the country locked down, we were careful to ensure that we retained a team who would still be able to process applications and pay benefits.

The Police Children's Charity provides support for police families by helping to ease the financial pressures of bringing up children in the face of life-changing circumstances

“We know how important financial support can be during times of bereavement and sickness, so we rapidly rolled out a new streamlined system that was designed to assess all new grant applications and once approved, ensured they were paid promptly.”

One parent who has benefitted from the work carried out by the charity said: “The support provided by The Police Children’s Charity has been overwhelming and has made a real difference to the girls not only with the financial assistance they have receive, but they have also felt comfort knowing that the trust care about their wellbeing and their life ahead without their mum.”

Fundraising took a massive hit during the Covid pandemic as the Police Children’s Charity is an independent charity which relies on the support from the general public.

Fran added: “Almost half a million pounds is spent each year in supporting families that have experienced unimaginably difficult life changing circumstances and in these difficult times and as pressures on police roles continue to increase, we need now more than ever before to source new ways of raising money.

“With events being cancelled or postponed during the lockdowns, we now need your help to re energise our fundraising events and raise much needed funds, to ensure our eligible police donor families continue to receive much-needed financial assistance and support which they so very much deserve.

“We are extremely grateful to those people who choose to raise money for the charity in a variety of different ways.”

If you are raising money for The Police Children’s Charity, they would love to hear from you and you can get in contact with them by emailing [email protected] to receive a free Fundraising Hero Kit and to have a chat about your ideas.

For more information about The Police Children's Charity, visit https://www.thepolicechildrenscharity.org/

Are you working with or getting any support from a charity in the region that deserves some support and credit after the difficult Covid lockdowns? We would love to hear from you!