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Branch Policy

1. BRANCH POLICY

The Welfare Policy of this branch is to regularly visit those of our members who are ill, elderly or infirm as well as widows and widowers. Others who may need visiting are those who may require emotional support because of illness, etc, of family members or those in hospital. Wherever possible we will assist relatives of the latter with transport if necessary. We will send get well cards in appropriate cases. We will ensure a branch representative attends funerals of members and we will send sympathy cards to relatives.

We are aware that contact as mentioned above is often made by members but your committee are often very much in the dark about such visits or of any more complex welfare needs. We want to build up knowledge of those who may be in need of assistance. At the Branch Welfare evening in 2005 it was agreed that it would be desirable that members received details of other members who lived in their vicinity and which might prompt them to visit, should they not already do so. It was acknowledged that the committee members could not fulfil this role properly and it was better that members living near each other was the proper way to proceed as they may require such support in the future.

With this in mind the Committee will be allocated specific areas and will identify volunteer "contactors" who will visit and liaise with the persons identified in the first paragraph. They may also identify retired officers in the area who are not members and just require a little gentle persuasion to join NARPO.

We are aware of support systems and can assist members in need in submitting claims. Advise packs will be prepared for the benefit of the "area co-ordinators" and the "contactors".

We can also assist in appeals involving Injury on Duty pension reviews, and other such matters, liaising where necessary with the Police Federation, Force Welfare Department, etc.

A Christmas card from the branch is sent to all widow/widower members as well as all members who live outside Lancashire,

2. WELFARE OFFICER ROLE; CONTACT VOLUNTEERS

The branch has a Welfare Officer who has attended the Contact Course at Wakefield. as has the Secretary and two other Committee members, who canvas and receive details of illnesses and injuries to members. Contact is made to see if assistance is required, e.g. transport to hospital, Convalescent Home etc.

The Welfare Officer's role is not to be the official responsible for visiting persons in need as identified in Paragraph 1 but to act as a co-ordinator, in liaison with the Secretary or whoever brings the welfare need to notice, to ensure that the appropriate member visits and reports on need, etc and is then in a position to give appropriate advice. To ensure knowledge of the appropriate person, it is necessary to increase the network of contacts. This can be augmented at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting and the Welfare Event.

3. KNOWLEDGE OF ASSISTANCE/FUNDS AVAILABLE AND REGULATIONS

These four persons have knowledge of assistance/funds available through Local Authorities, Social Services, Police Dependent Trust, North West Police Benevolent Fund (the chairman is the Lancashire NARPO representative on this body) British Legion, SSAFA, etc. They will liaise with Statutory and Voluntary Agencies and the Police Convalescent Homes and assist to make grant applications in times of need, hardship and distress. They also have knowledge about Injury on Duty Pension Review appeals and the like and assistance will be given.

4. WELFARE FUNDING

There is no Welfare Fund allocation as such but the general funds are used for welfare gifts to those members who are hospitalised or are recovering from hospital care.

5. CONTACT WITH FORCE WELFARE/POLICE FEDERATION

The Branch have excellent contact with the Lancashire Police Federation and the Force Welfare Department, the latter being unable to visit our members but who are more than willing to assist with advice, etc.

6. INFORMATION- HOW OBTAINED AND CIRCULATED

The major problem is gaining knowledge of members with welfare needs, who are ill or are in hospital. This has to be obtained by gaining the confidence of members that welfare is a priority and that they should pass information to the committee or contactors. This is achieved by inputs in each of the quarterly newsletters, by regular e-mail messages in a circulation newsletter that now numbers some 240 and by telephone contacts. All information is actioned by a Committee member.

7. DEATHS OF MEMBERS

The Lancashire Branches have an arrangement that the deaths of all members reported to the Lancashire Pensions Department are circulated by email to the branches. This is in addition to contact by relatives, or other members. A relative will be contacted and assistance offered. All spouses and partners are informed that they will continue to be members and contact is made on their behalf with the Lancashire County Council Pensions Department and with Wakefield. The branch is represented at funerals and turn out is usually very respectable as a result of email and telephone contact. There is a need to create a telephone snowball circulation triggered by the e-mail circulation.

Enquiries are in hand with the Force to identify the role of Force Chaplains.

8. WEB SITE

There is a need to create a Branch website containing welfare policy, membership applications, contact details, branch newsletters, branch directory, useful sites, Police Benevolent Fund, etc.

9. HOW POLICY IS REVIEWED

The Branch Welfare Policy will be reviewed each year by the Committee at the meeting before the Annual General Meeting where any amendments will be discussed at the AGM and incorporated if necessary then circulated in the next quarterly newsletter. This will not inhibit practical initiatives throughout the year.

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The above is quite exhaustive and only works because of the good contacts which exist with former colleagues, the confidence of those requiring help that it will be freely given, and the unstinting support of those members contacted who are asked to visit our more elderly and vulnerable members. We are proud to say that never has a request of this nature been refused.

 

 
     
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