Supporting the children of police officer’s goes back many years, to when the Northern Police Orphanage first opened in 1898. Founded by Miss Catherine Gurney for the care and welfare of Northern Police Force children who had lost one or both parents.
Between 1898, when the orphanage opened, through to 1954 more than 600 children spent all or part of their childhood there. Running costs were funded by many hundreds of serving police officers who made a weekly donation from their pay. Other gifts and donations were received from well-wishers across the north of England and further afield.
The orphanage closed in the mid-1950's due to falling demand, possibly because of changes to the welfare state and an increase in adoption and fostering.
The remaining few members of the orphanage were relocated to Albany Lodge a property on Hereford Road in Harrogate. This continued for a further 20 months and in August 1956 was closed with any remaining children returning home to their families.
It was after the closure of the orphanage that the grant giving process commenced. Two trusts were formed, the St George’s Fund and the Northern Police Orphans Trust, both providing grants to police officers children.
The original purpose of the St George’s Fund was to provide grants for “support, maintenance, education and advancement in life”, until a young person left full time education (up to and including Further and Higher education). This is very similar to how it operates today.
The Northern Police Orphans Trust provided grants to men and women over the age of 19 who had lost a police officer parent but who were unable to earn their own living as a result of having special needs.
In 2006 the two charities merged, creating the St George’s Police Trust. Both the Fund and Trust had shared similar aims and objectives and so a merger enabled the beneficiary base to be widened and costs to be reduced.
St George's Police Children Trust (renamed in 2012) continues to support Police families by helping to ease the financial pressures of bringing up children in the face of life-changing circumstances.
In 2018, significant changes were made to increase the support offered by the Trust; including New Beneficiary Grants, Driving Lesson Grants and also Child Counselling Grants. Significantly, the Trust widened it's eligibility to include Police families who have lost either parent (whether or not they are a Serving or Retired Police Officer) or where the Police Officer parent is unable to earn an income due to illness or injury, sustained on or off duty.
The Trust also enjoys a friendship with many of the St George's House 'Old Boys and Girls' who visit Harrogate each year for a reunion. To read more about St George's House click on the logo below to visit their website.