Report 9th March 2010

The Police Treatment Centre

 30 members were present for an illustrated talk by our Chairman’s near neighbour, Mr. Michael Baxter, formerly a senior police officer but since 2007 the Chief Executive of the Police Treatment Centre on Harlow Moor Road, formerly the Police Convalescent Home.  The centre was founded in 1902 by Catherine Gurney, the “Florence Nightingale” of the Police Service who founded six police charities. Hundreds attended her funeral in Harrogate in1930 and she is buried on Harlow Hill.

Many are unaware of the work of the charity because of the need for discretion until very recently, because of the large number of Northern Irish officers recuperating in Harrogate during the troubles.  Police officers pay £1.18 a week to support the charity but are charged nothing when they use the facilities.  The government does not support the centre directly but recently granted £1.3 million for refurbishment of the facilities which now include 17 physiotherapy plinths, sports hall and new gymnasium with grounds of 10.5 acres for rest and recreation.  Nursing staff are on duty 24 hours a day.  The new facilities were opened in May 2009 under the patronage of the Duke of York.

Mr. Baxter’s clear and interesting PowerPoint presentation led to a number of questions from members.  John Teasdale gave the vote of thanks and spoke for many when he said that the talk had brought alive the work in a building which he had passed many times without knowing its history and importance.

Members will be glad to know that Mr. Baxter has offered to visit our forum again.

                                                        John Taylor

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