I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on the National Police Memorial Day online service and wanted to share my thoughts with you as part of communications in my role as your Chair.
In normal circumstances I would have been in Lincoln attending the Memorial Day service in person and, as in previous years, be privileged to be involved in what is a truly humbling experience as surviving family members share their experiences and support each other. Instead I was sitting at home with my Dad, who despite his 89 years is still the Chaplain to the local police force, and as we watched we were both deeply moved by the service and remembering those no longer with us. In case you’ve not watched it, I recommend you do. The NPMD website includes some inspirational videos, personal stories and the chance to sign the Tribute Wall and watch the online service.
Recent events have reinforced the need to think about and remember, those officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving others. We also need to remember and support their colleagues and their families as they face painful and challenging times ahead.
Canon Wilbraham’s words at the start of the service therefore resonated with me, as did the Commissioner’s on Friday when she asked the public to remember that police officers are people too. Canon Wilbraham talked about the loss of a police officer as being a loss not just to the officer’s family but also to the wider police family as well as a loss for our nation. This is something that I, and I’m sure you, can personally relate to as a loss of an officer means that we lose not only a fellow police officer but also a member of our own police family.
Supporting the Police family and the family survivors is something that we are proud to do and is still very central to the core of Metfriendly. The focus on the police family is why we support the NPMD and similar charities. Earlier this year I was inspired and humbled to see hope and ambition emerging from challenging situations when I met families at the Metropolitan & City Police Orphans Fund 150th Anniversary Celebration event at St James’s Palace.
This desire to support police officers and their families in challenging times is why the Metropolitan Police Friendly Society was established in 1893. Although in 2020 we offer savings and investments products, we also still offer insurance products that ensure Officers and their families are looked after should the worst happen.
Police and police families really are at the heart of everything that Metfriendly does. We are Police Family focused and Police Family owned and many of the team at Metfriendly have direct police family connections.
As Kathy Byrne, our CEO wrote earlier this year: “Rest assured that the Board at Metfriendly is focused on ensuring that we continue to have the needs of serving and retired Police families at the heart of everything we do. Metfriendly will continue to deliver a financially strong sustainable business focused on the needs of its current and future members” (see here for the full article).
In my experience as a police officer we never forget our own. We will and do remember them.
Thank you to those still serving within policing, thank you to those who have served and thank you to those who are the irreplaceable supporters.
Joanna Young - Chair, Metfriendly