A long-standing police charity is changing its name to reflect a shift in emphasis in how the Isle of Man Constabulary supports vulnerable members of the local community.
The focus of the rebranded ‘Give a Gift’ charity is to alleviate suffering in the Island arising as a result of financial, physical, psychological, emotional or social hardship.
The organisation will replace the Police Christmas Parcels for Needy Folk Fund, which was established in 1961 to distribute festive food hampers to those considered most in need. The recipients were mainly elderly residents with whom police officers came into contact during their line of duty.
The charity broadened its remit in 2010 and officers were encouraged to consider nominating people of all ages. As a result, young families were included and the gifts were tailored to the needs of the individuals, with food parcels being replaced by items such as toy shop and fuel vouchers.
However, the organisation felt the use of the word ‘needy’ in its title was no longer appropriate and a decision was taken to modernise by launching the Isle of Man Constabulary Give a Gift charity.
As part of its new approach, the charity now provides support throughout the year – not just at Christmas – to members of the local community who are facing difficulties.
As before, nominations for gifts are made by police officers and support staff and the charity still relies entirely on public donations and the proceeds of police fundraising events.
The official launch of the Isle of Man Constabulary Give a Gift charity also served to promote a commemorative edition of the Isle of Man Constabulary Force Instruction Book.
The book was republished at the end of 2013 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Isle of Man Constabulary.
The original edition was issued to all police officers in 1879 by Lieutenant Colonel William Paul shortly after he took command of the Constabulary.
Gary Roberts, the current Chief Constable, writes in his foreword:
‘Anyone reading the book will quickly realise that however much has changed over the last century and a half, an awful lot has remained the same.’
Copies of the book will be on sale priced £10 and all proceeds will go towards the Isle of Man Constabulary Give a Gift charity.
A copy was presented by the Chief Constable to Hector Duff BEM, a former police officer and a committee member on the original Police Christmas Parcels for Needy Folk Fund.