West Yorkshire’s Police chiefs have come together to donate a thousand pounds to a charity that helps injured emergency service workers.
The Blue Lamp Foundation was established in October 2010 by PC David Rathband after he was shot and blinded whilst on duty in Northumbria.
The foundation provides financial aid when members of the emergency services are injured in the line of duty and incur unexpected costs such as hospital parking, childcare, medical aids, transport to and from appointments.
Sadly PC David Rathband died in 2012 but the Foundation continues in his memory. Its role and remit has developed since then and it now supports members of the emergency services who have mental or physical injuries as a result of being injured whilst on duty.
The Foundation supports any serving member of the Police, Fire and Ambulance service who has been injured whilst on duty.
The donation was made by West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson and the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, John Robins using the Police Property Act Fund.
The Fund consists of money from the sale of property connected with crime. The Fund can only be used for charitable purposes.
Peter Sweeney, Chairman of the PC David Rathband’s Blue Lamp Foundation, said: “I would like to personally thank the Commissioner and Chief Constable for the donation of £1,000.
“PC David Rathband’s Blue Lamp Foundation has had a long-standing relationship with West Yorkshire Police. That relationship has grown over the years and West Yorkshire Police family have been involved in actively fundraising for our charity and, importantly, we’ve been able to support and help many of their officers on their road to recovery when they have suffered physical and emotional injuries whilst on duty.
“Thank you again to the whole West Yorkshire Police family from everyone here at the Foundation and, on behalf of those we will be able to help going forward, thanks for this donation.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “I was delighted to be able to make this contribution to what is a really worthwhile cause. The Blue Lamp Foundation provides assistance to emergency service workers at a time of greatest need and makes an important contribution.
“The health and wellbeing of police officers, staff and emergency service workers in general is absolutely paramount. They risk an awful lot to keep our communities safe and it is only right that we reciprocate and do what we can to support them when they need it.
“I will continue to do everything I can to help support the welfare of officers and staff. Attacks on them are still far too common and I have previously shared the concerns of The Police Federation in that the recent Protect the Protectors legislation needs to be reviewed to ensure it is being properly implemented in line with the seriousness of attacks. Police officers and staff deserve all the protection we can give them in carrying out their work on our behalf.”
West Yorkshire Police Deputy Chief Constable, Russ Foster, said: “Day in, day out, Police officers and staff work tirelessly to protect the communities of West Yorkshire and any assaults against them – especially when they are simply doing their job – are unacceptable”.
“The seriousness of assaulting any emergency worker has been recognised in the sanctions provided by the new Assaults on Emergency Workers (offences) Act and we welcome this and as a Force, amongst others, we championed this new legislation.
“Those who are injured on duty will undoubtedly benefit from this donation and as a Force we will continue to do all that we can to protect and support our colleagues as they conduct their duties.”