Committee Report 2017

Once again on behalf of the committee, we would like to extend our gratitude for your attendance at the Prison Service Charity Fund AGM today. Some of you having travelled considerable distances to join us. I hope that your journey was not too stressful and you will have partaken of the food and beverage supplied by our hosts, Dennis, Jane and Linda, who have welcomed us once again to the Springbridge Carriage Driving School. We have been fortunate to be allowed to use this facility for quite a few years now and we think this will continue with their annual consent. Last year we welcomed on to the committee Mike Flynn. We would like to thank Mike for the enthusiasm that he has displayed. He has been a valuable asset to the fund and a valuable member of the committee. After thirty years we have lost one of the founder members of the fund through retirement, who sadly, has not had a good year, through illness. Catherine Smith, (Cathy), has been the treasurer for the PSCF since its inception in 1989, following the Faye Watling Appeal, which she was also instrumental in organising at HMP Liverpool. We would like to place on record our most grateful thanks for the work that Cathy did on behalf of the committee and the PSCF membership, in all the establishments throughout England and Wales and hope that she enjoys her retirement and we also hope that her health will improve. Our chairman, another founder member, has also had to restrict his involvement due to travel restrictions, but remains our Chairman and, I can assure you that he is still very active when called upon to act on your behalf in maintaining our investment portfolio, which allows us to be able to administer the fund from the interest accrued and not use any of the donations from staff pay, a claim that we are very proud to make. Again, as in the previous two years, we invite the assembled forum, to ask the chair, to give way, if theyhave a reasonable reason to raise any topic being discussed. Last year we asked for any of the membership, if they would consider joining the main committee, taking into consideration the problem of attending the meetings, which are now held in Southport in North West England. Denise Bolton, our representative at HMP Preston came forward and offered her services. An offer we grabbed with both hands. Denise was elected on to the committee in May 2017 and as with Mike she has proved to be a valuable asset. Not only have they joined the committee, but have travelled extensively in their own time, as does our recruiting officer John White, to attend as many of the satellite training courses throughout the whole of the North of England and Wales, to increase our membership by recruiting from the POELT’s at these training courses. Denise has taken on the task of producing a “Power Point Presentation”, which we hope, we can offer to representatives at all prison establishments, to assist them in improving their PSCF membership. We hope to have this available in the near future and Denise is trying to improve the presentation with a voice over, with all the information the Rep would require. She is probably now sorry she volunteered! Denise’s story continues, that after a worrying few years, where a lot of our members have taken VEDS and our subscriptions declined, in early 2017, the Prison Service announced it was going to recruit 2500 new Prison Officers and that they would be trained at satellite stations all over England and Wales. This was a great opportunity for us as a Charity, to introduce ourselves to the new members of staff, explain what we do and how they can contribute and benefit from our charity.    So we started visiting various locations, talking to the POELTS and introducing the PSCF to them.    Bob and I went to HMP Kirkham and as Bob was delivering his speech, I realised, he had all the information about the PSCF in his head, as he was one of the founding members of the charity and had lived through the story he was telling. I then thought how I was going to remember all this information, and deliver this passionate heart warming story, to the POELT’s. So I came up with the idea with using Power Point and telling the story of Faye Watling and how the Charity was started.    I named it “Charity Begins At Home”. The Power Point begins by telling the story of Faye Watling needing urgent surgery to remove a growth from her face and showing the moving photos of this poor little girl’s face. It explains how all the Prison Officers in 1987, heard about Faye and raised £320,000, of which in excess of £100,000, was used to assist Faye and her family, to go to America and have life  saving surgery. The Power Point then goes on to show photos of staff, who have raised money and people who have benefited from this fantastic charity over the last 29 years. It then goes on to explain how they can contribute, join the PSCF and if they need the PSCF to assist them, how they can apply. This is proving to be a very useful tool for your committee to use and we would like to thank Denise for her work over the last year in particular this Power Point project. We are proud to have her as a Committee member.  Further to Denise’s Power Point story, which focuses on recruitment. In 2017, our membership again increased slightly, but it was unfortunately without the assistance of Newbold Revel, who still would not let us attend the college, to give our talk to the POELT’s. This is despite Bob and Ken being invited by some very senior management, to attend a Wellbeing day, but not much came of that. Mentioning Wellbeing days, again John and Bob, attended quite a few of these during 2017, travelling as far afield as North Sea Camp. We continue to advise you, if your Establishment has a Wellbeing day arranged, make yourself known to the organisers, to have a stall. It is another way of promoting the PSCF, to your staff, of all grades. Also, if you require a member of committee to attend, then we will do our utmost to be there to support you. During 2017, we had quite a few requests, for our promotional packs, which we have here today, please do take one, for displaying around your Establishments. In May 2017, your committee were again invited to the POA Conference, held at Southport. Over the three days, our stand proved very popular, however, it still amazes us, that even after 29 years as a registered charity, we still have colleagues coming up to us, stating they have never heard of the PSCF! Again, we would like to thank the POA executive, for their continued support throughout 2017. On several occasions during 2017, we had enquiries about assistance for financial hardship and funeral expenses. Although these cases are extremely heart breaking, unfortunately, our criteria does not allow us to support such appeals, but as always, Bob points them in the direction of the “Charity for Civil Servants”. Over the years, the PSCF has supported thousands of staff, from many establishments, across the whole public sector Prison Estate. Staff from these establishments have made a difference to many lives and have given back a quality of life to people, their local hospices and other medically orientated groups, by their selfless achievements, to raise funds for others less able than themselves. One such person who should be applauded for her fundraising, is here with us today.  Mrs Pat Ainsworth and her able assistant in her endeavours, her Husband Jim. Pat retired from her marathon running after 23 years last year, and is now hopefully taking a well-earned marathon running retirement. Pat ran her first marathon in 1995 and started fundraising purely by accident. Whist visiting her mother at the local hospital, She heard they were trying to raise funds for a very special incubator, for extremely premature babies, which would cost around £40,000. So with the help of her husband, they managed to raise £4000 or 10% towards the required amount, from her very first 26.2 mile run. Being her first marathon she found it relatively easy to raise funds. But after so many marathons, fundraising was more difficult and she decided that a fresh approach and new ideas were required, to maintain the funding she needed to carry on her charity donations, to the causes she supported. This new approach included, fancy dress and 70’s evenings, Stars in Your Eyes competitions, with some of the participants from the world of television, auctions, second hand soft toy stalls, with items donated by her colleagues at work and collections at her local supermarket. These are just a few examples of her commitment over many years. However, as the years of fundraising continued, it became much more difficult to raise the funds from family and work colleagues. There is only so many times you can ask for assistance for your passion! In 2004, Pat joined the Prison service at HMP/YOI New Hall, as part of the education team and was approached by her colleagues to join, as a member of the Prison Service Charity Fund. Pat still maintained her collections at her local supermarket, but there always seemed to be a shortfall in achieving her target. Around 2006 whilst viewing the PSCF website, Pat noticed that funds were available for consideration, to support the staff members of the fund, who were raising funds for the causes she supported and fell within the PSCF criteria. Pat applied for support in raising funds for her chosen charities, which are, Marie Curie Cancer Support, assistance to nurses in her local community and her local hospice. This appeal was successful and was the first of many successful appeals during her fundraising achievements over the years. Over the 23 years that Pat has completed her marathons, both in the running and fundraising, from numerous charity events she has raised over £150,000, which has been shared between children’s charities and all major cancer related charities. Latterly, Pat has supported Marie Curie and remains to this day a valuable part of their fundraising team.  Her achievement of running 21 marathons, half marathons, numerous 10K runs and competing in the Race for Life, has brought with it many additional memories and special moments in her busy life, a few of which we have listed below. Pat won the Yorkshire Region of Saga’s most active over fifty year old in 2005. A special moment being invited to Buckingham Palace and being presented to HM the Queen in 2006. Huddersfield Examiners charity Fundraiser of the year in 2008. Pat was also selected from 28,000 people to represent West Yorkshire and carry the Olympic Torch in her local area in 2012. Pat was invited to be part of the BBC’s Get Inspired Initiative, to encourage older people to be more active in their senior years, Pat was involved in this programme throughout 2014. Pat said that in the later years, none of this would have been possible without the assistance she had received from the Prison Service Charity Fund, which made the effort of the many months of very hard training every year, seem all worthwhile.  Pat has always relayed her gratitude for our donations and we all wish her well in her continued work with the Marie Curie Charity.  In October 2016, Tony Webster, now retired from HMP Manchester, made an application to the Prison Service Charity Fund, for a grant/contribution toward the purchase of a Raumedic MPR 1 Datalogger & TDT 1 Read. This was for a five year old little boy, for whom Tony and his wife had foster care responsibilities. Due to his legal status we were and regrettably remain unable to name him, provide photographs or descriptions that would otherwise make him easily identifiable. Following an emergency shunt revision in early January 2016, due to extremely high cranial pressure and in an endeavour to reduce the risk of the brain being crushed by the excessive pressure he was experiencing, which in turn were creating a risk to life and further long term brain damage. He returned home after several weeks hospitalisation. However, there was little, if any improvement to his cognitive and physical health and again we returned to the hospital where further ICP surgery and monitoring identified that his pressures were now extremely low. The risks of which are, increased risk of bleeding caused by the brain ventricles literally collapsing, allowing potential impacting against the skull, due to what would normally be described as everyday activity and a risk to further irreversible brain damage and subsequent enhanced risk to life. A further shunt revision was completed in May 2016. His neurosurgical team describe his case as extremely complex, as he did not present as others with a similar condition and all investigatory scans did not identify any specific issues or assist diagnosis. They therefore decided that he would benefit from inclusion on a new scheme of Telemetric Monitoring. This is achieved by implanting a pressure sensor through the skull. This is in turn attached to a radio transmitter which is secured under the scalp and is read by use of an external wand (TDT 1 read P), which is plugged into a MPR 1 Datalogger Telemetric ICP Monitor. This gives the patient complete freedom of movement, as they are not directly attached to the monitor. The neurosurgical consultant has identified that this will benefit him, not least because it means that future invasive surgery is reduced to a bare minimum. Coupled with the use of a programmable shunt and anti-syphon valve, which had recently been implanted under further surgery. However, because this type of monitoring was new to the UK and the MPR 1 Datalogger & TDT 1 read P, were expensive to supply, the monitor and read, had to be shared between several families around the country. This in itself could have proved problematic and potentially catastrophic if he continued to suffer unmonitored low/high pressure, when the monitor was not available to him. We were advised in early September 2016, that he had further impaired sight in his left eye, due to the increased pressure, caused by the brain sagging on to the left optic nerve. It is because of these inherent difficulties, that we believe the safest and most constructive way forward, was to purchase the MPR 1 Datalogger Telemetric ICP Monitor & TDT 1 read P for him, so that his cranial pressure could be immediately ascertained without having to wait for prolonged periods for appointments and further surgery, if he suffered any future problems with his cranial pressure. Furthermore, being able to immediately prove his pressures, would give his neurosurgical team the advantage of being able to programme the shunt and anti-syphon device with immediacy, reducing the need for further invasive surgery and the increased risk of seizures, resulting in further brain trauma and further potential long term brain damage, impacting on his ability to function to his then capacity and in the worst case, death. Throughout all this adversity and uncertainty, he continued to progress and develop beyond the expectations of medical, surgical, social and physiotherapeutic practitioners. He continues to greet each day with an enormous infectious smile, courage and self-motivation, beyond the norm for one of his age and offers so much, yet asks for so little. He is an inspiration to many family and friends alike and his story was one of silent struggle as he was confined by a system designed to protect him, that in itself discriminates against him, not least because he is subject to the legal confines and constraints of the care system, which renders us unable to fundraise openly and without prejudice in that, due to him being subject to the laws surrounding child protection and children in care, we are unable to promote fundraising in any way that would leave him vulnerable to identification. Thanks to the generosity of the Prison Service Charity Fund and staff at HMP Manchester, raising funds for an unidentifiable cause, we found ourselves in the fortunate position to be able to purchase the necessary equipment to assist in identifying potentially problematic cranial pressures. He continues to use the equipment and in the 12 month period since its purchase, he has suffered only one major seizure on 7th December 2017. He is undergoing further investigation into the cause and the equipment is assisting in monitoring his current pressures. This is of great value to his neurosurgical team, as it enables them to make educated decisions for a positive way forward. The little boy whose long term prognosis was one of negativity, is now at age 6, in mainstream school, walking with very little assistance and able to discuss all manner of topics, that he finds of interest. He is a kind, thoughtful and caring member of the family and indeed society and continues to brighten every day, with his infectious personality. Tony and his wife thank you all, for your kindness and generosity. Your assistance has helped to give us greater confidence and has helped a very special little boy, to continue to achieve his potential. This type of assistance from the PSCF, is only possible due to the continued support of membership of the PSCF, throughout all establishments in England and Wales. Once again, your committee must thank our colleagues at Deerbolt and the Industries at Frankland, for supplying, free of charge, all the promotional items here today. Also the continued support from Ian White and Potts Print (UK), who produce this report and the Posters, free of charge. This is much appreciated by your committee.

  

Bob 

For and on behalf of the Committee Prison Service Charity Fund 



Treasures Report


Once again at the end of the reporting year the fund shows a profit on the previous accounting period. This is despite the loss of staff members due to the staffing levels altering dramatically during 2016 and early 2017. Fortunately we witnessed an upturn in staff recruitment during the middle and latter part of this accounting year. The members of the committee who undertook the task of enhancing recruitment in many of the establishments and some of our more proactive representatives who recruited new staff arriving from the training establishments, where it was impractical for our committee members to attend, made a significant difference in our monthly income. This has been invaluable to the fund’s finances and has allowed the fund to maintain our support for fundraisers across the whole of the England and Wales estate. During this reporting period we received 151 appeals which is only four less than the previous year, 2016. These appeals were from 47 establishments, which is an increase of seven on the 2016 reporting period. We did receive applications from some establishments that we either had never assisted at all or had not heard from for quite a few years. We hope that this is due to the assistance we have received from the POA Executive in the form of articles and adverts in both the Gatelodge Magazine and in the diary which all POA members receive. We still require a tremendous effort from our Representatives to promote the fund to their staff colleagues, both in recruiting and to point out that we may be able to assist them if their chosen cause is within our criteria. The total income for this reporting period was 103,875.41 - an increase of £3644.82 from 2016. This must reflect the work carried out over the year in the recruitment of new members following the department increasing the staffing levels at most establishments, we hope we can maintain this upward trend in 2018. We also saw a significant increase in donations from retired staff and, ancillary staff, such as the nurses, teachers and works staff who are not paid directly from the Home Office pay section. The increase of £417 also proves the point that it is imperative that the establishment reps can increase their membership from these groups. These donations are made by standing order and attract Gift Aid at 25%. Representatives who target this group should supply the new member with a Gift Aid form which the fund supplies for this purpose. The amount donated from the fund in 2017 stands at £83,299 - slightly less than last year, but only by £3000. This reflects the general financial situation of our membership and also reiterates the fact that their target aspirations are lower due to the economic climate, making it more difficult to raise funds from their colleagues, family and friends. Our investment portfolio still attracts a reasonable return annually, considering the bank rate is still at an all time low, as at December 2017. The amount of interest generated over this reporting period from both the portfolio and the investment bonds held by the fund stands at £16,233-00 a slight drop of £13 on 2016. This allows the fund to maintain its claim that all the administration costs are met from its annual interest and none of our member’s donations are used for this purpose, a claim we are very proud of. Hopefully within the next reporting period we may see an increase in the bank rate which will enhance the returns on all our investments. We have investments with quite a few small banks and building societies which also assist with our annual income. Quite a few of these investments matured during this reporting period and were reinvested for one year, or the maximum of two years due to the fragility of the markets. The thinking behind this is the hope that interest rates may change in 2018/19. Sadly these investments are not attracting the same level of interest as in previous years, but we can assure you that the committee are instrumental in tracking this type of investment and will move or alter any of this these investments to ensure the highest possible return for your fund. The average rate of interest at present stands at 0.5%. If any of our investments drop below this rate we will have to take action when they mature in 2018/19. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme still stands at £85,000. We will never exceed the FSCS figure within our investments and will monitor the ‘safe guard figure’ to insure the donations from staff are secure and not open to any form of loss. Our bank HSBC offer only a minuscule rate of interest on our current account but, as in previous years, we have to maintain a current working balance. On the few occasions that we have accrued a high working balance, we have increased one or more of our fixed term bond savings accounts, within the FSCS guidelines.  Once again we think we had a successful year in 2017 and we can maintain our support to all our membership.  Bob Howard