The Kent Police Benevolent Fund and the Kent Police Staff Benevolent Fund provide members with somewhere to turn to in times of need. Such need might be financial, or it may be due to a sudden injury (on or off duty) or some other unforeseen health issue affecting the member, his/her spouse or partner, or even their children. The Benevolent Fund committee can consider any circumstance whereby hardship or distress is being caused to eligible members and they have complete discretion to assist in any way they feel is appropriate.
Membership of the Police Fund is open to all serving Police Officers and may be continued into retirement, whether retirement occurs on completion of service or through ill health.
The primary membership benefits are outlined below and the current membership rate for serving Police officers ( as of 01.09.14) is 9.58 per month, of which just 2.61 is the contribution made to the fund. The subscription rate for pensioners is reduced to 2.80 with no change to the benefits available other than a reduction to the length of any stay at the Police Rehabilitation Centre (Flint House) to one week instead of the two that is allowed to serving officers. Retired Officers over the age of 65 remain members of the Fund for life, and whilst they remain eligible to the same benefits they enjoyed as serving officers or as a subscribing pensioner, they are not required to make any further contributions.
Membership of the Police Staff Fund is open to all serving staff members and the benefits to staff fund members are identical to those available to Police Officers in the Police Fund. The only exception is that they do not contribute to, and cannot therefore attend the Police Rehabilitation Centre (Flint House.) The subscription rate of membership of the Staff Fund is just 2 per month. Staff Fund members who retire with more than 5 years service in Kent police remain members of the fund for life but are not required to make any further contributions.
Subscribers to the Police and the Police Staff Benevolent Fund are able to apply for:
Assistance with payments for private medical consultations of up to 200.
For occasions where NHS appointments cannot be provided within reasonable time scales .
Non Means Tested Discretionary Grants( generally up to 500.)
The committee may award grants to members of the fund for any charitable, companionate or benevolent reasons they consider necessary in order to alleviate hardship or distress. Examples of such grants are many and varied and range from: Making contributions towards travelling and parking costs when officers, or their spouses or children have been hospitalised, Contributions towards the costs of providing specialist care and, equipment for colleagues or their immediate family members who are temporarily or permanently injured, or who may be suffering from a disability . Recent examples include contributions towards wet room conversions, providing stair lifts, wheel chairs and special beds and reading devices for the partially sighted.
Means Tested Grants.
As above but in the case of means tested grants the value of the award can exceed the 500 cap. Where the committee are satisfied that following a means testing evaluation an award should be made they can provide a grant to any value they feel is appropriate in the circumstances. Examples include the purchase of a specially adapted electric wheelchair costing over 1200 for the child of a colleague who suffers with a physical disability, and also providing a deposit towards a wheelchair accessible vehicle for the child of a member suffering from cerebral palsy.
Once awarded no repayment is required or expected of Means tested, or non means tested grants, or of any contribution the fund makes towards the cost of medical consultations.
Where members are faced with difficult times and require financial assistance and where there is genuine welfare need, the committee may consider granting a loan to the member repayable directly from his/her salary or pension. Each loan application is treated on its merits and requires the committee to assess both the reasons how the applicant came to need assistance, their ability to repay any loan and the risk to the fund reserves. Loans from the Benevolent Fund are intended to be a means of assisting colleagues who have no other alternatives open to them. These are not intended to be seen as a means of obtaining cheap credit, but it is understood that sometimes debts may accrue through unforeseen circumstances beyond member's control, and in such cases the Benevolent Fund may be able to assist. The Benevolent Funds are licenced by the Financial Conduct Authority in order to be able to provide loans, and as such must comply with all regulatory requirements. Loans granted where a welfare case has been made out are interest free.
Where a member, or his/her spouse or partner, or a child aged 18 years or under sadly passes away under any circumstances, the Benevolent Fund will make an immediate grant of 2000 to either, the next of Kin, the person who has been nominated by the member or the person who is responsible for dealing with the members affairs, as a contribution from the fund towards the funeral costs. This grant is available to all serving Police Officers and Pensioners, and to all serving Staff members who are members of their respective funds.
Children (N/A to Staff Members)
Benevolent Fund subscriptions include a contribution to the Gurney Fund for Police Orphans. This allows the children of fallen colleagues under the age of 18 years to receive help and support from the fund, and also attend annual activity events.
A Christmas grant of 75 is also paid by Kent Police Benevolent Fund to all children under the age of 18 of Kent Police Officers or Staff members who have passed away under any circumstances.
Police Rehabilitation Centre / Flint House. (N/A to Staff Members)
A significant proportion of your Benevolent Fund subscription (5.98 as of Sept 2014) goes to the Police Rehabilitation Centre (Flint House) and this allows subscribing members to attend the facility free of charge and receive first class treatment from fully qualified staff using state of the art equipment. Non subscribers can attend the centre but at their own cost, which is currently 1560.00 for a two week stay (correct at Sept 2014.) Serving Police officers may attend for up to two weeks per visit. Retired officer can attend for one week but regretfully, as from 1st January 2016, Flint House have decreed that retired officers will be charged 80 per day for any treatment they require. If you need to attend Flint House, all that is required is a referral form from a GP or consultant outlining the treatment you require. The injury or illness that gives rise to your visit can occur on or off duty. Application forms to attend Flint House should be downloaded directly from the Flint House website www.flinthouse.co.uk (please note that there are separate forms for physical and psychological injuries.) Once your treatment is complete you can request a contribution towards your travelling expenses from the Benevolent Fund. If you haven't already downloaded the traveling expenses form from the force system ( see policy L1380) simply call or email the benevolent fund office and one will be sent directly to you. Please do check out the Flint House website for further details on the facilities and treatments available, or simply speak to a colleague who has already been there.
Gurney Fund & Police Dependants Trust (serving Police Officers only.)
A total of 99p of the overall donation of 9.58 is sent directly to these two Police charities (87p & 12p respectively) as our contribution to supporting the work they do to help the families of fallen and injured Police colleagues. See www.gurneyfund.org & www.pdtrust.org for further details.
Members may continue (by arrangement with the Fund secretary) to continue paying into the fund whilst on a career break. This will ensure (in the case of Police officers) that their eligibility to attend Flint House remains unaffected (see eligibility criteria on the Flint House website for full details.) All other membership benefits will continue unaffected if subscriptions are continued.
Maternity Leave (paid)
Members may continue to have subscriptions deducted from salary whilst on paid maternity leave. This will protect their entitlements to all member benefits including attendance at Flint House.
Maternity Leave (unpaid)
Members who continued to pay subscriptions whilst on Paid maternity leave are not required to continue paying if or when they move to unpaid maternity leave. They will remain as full members for a period of three months and in that time The Fund will pay any donations due to Flint House, The Gurney Fund and The Police Dependent's trust.
Paternity & Adoption Leave
The same rules as for Paid & Unpaid Maternity Leave apply to members on Paternity or Adoption leave
Annual General Meeting
Both Benevolent Funds (Police Fund & Staff Fund ) hold an AGM, details of which are circulated on GO's. Any member of the Fund is entitled to attend if they wish to do so.
If you have any questions about the Benevolent Fund, please contact Gary Sutton or Debbie O'Neill in the Benevolent Fund Office at FHQ on 01622 653066 or 19-3066.