Every year, our Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team meet for our Annual General Meeting (AGM) – an opportunity to come together to reflect on the previous year and look to the year ahead.

And central to those meetings are our Company Members.

Company Members are invited to ask questions, share their views and opinions on the direction of our Charity, elect Trustees and debate and vote on resolutions that may change the Charity’s constitution.

Beyond the AGM, our Company Members can be further involved in trustee sub-committees, and two members who have played a huge part in these are Brian Robson and Dave Ramscar.

Below, they share why they became a Company Member and what the role means to them.

And we are now recruiting for more Company Members in 2024. To find out more visit www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/companymember or email companysecretary@firefighterscharity.org.uk. 

Brian Robson

Company Member - Brian Robson

“I was with West Yorkshire FRS for the majority of my 31-year career and retired as an Area Manager.

“The link to the Charity has always been there for me really. We got involved in fundraising from the moment we started our recruits’ course, it was almost a right of passage into the fire service.

“For me, it was always about raising further awareness of the Charity where we could. I’ve known a lot of colleagues who’ve had support, including a distant member of my family who has a daughter who is disabled. The Charity have been absolutely fantastic to her. I get quite emotional thinking about how good it’s been.

“After I’d retired, a few years in, it was a no brainer for me to get back involved as a Company Member. I started the role in 2020 and the rest is history.

“It’s great to have that insight into the leadership’s decisions and there’s two things that really struck me when deciding to apply – the first one was what it stands for. Everyone can talk about what a charity’s supposed to do, but I know for sure that The Fire Fighters Charity does exactly what it says on the tin. That’s something I’m really proud of, being part of it all.

“The second thing that really struck me was the strategic plan and the fact that that plan was about expanding and being ambitious, all while not forgetting its roots coming up to the 80th anniversary.

“As Company Members, our job is to challenge – and we do where appropriate I assure you. But it’s also about support, and using our own experiences on the job to feed our thoughts into decision making – always thinking, ‘what does this actually mean for our community’.”

Dave Ramscar

Company Member - Dave Ramscar

“I retired at the start of 2016, I was Chief Fire Officer with Lincolnshire for five years, having joined the fire service in 1984 – and I knew about the Charity from word go really.

“I’m very fortunate in that I haven’t had to call on support myself, but I’ve got quite a few friends and colleagues who have – and still do now. Not only is it colleagues though, it’s their families too.

“It’s important to me, and it’s one of the reasons why I became a Company Member. I’m incredibly honoured and happy to have the role and to be able to contribute. It’s an opportunity to give something back.

“It’s been great to see the massive transformation within the Charity in the time I’ve been in the role. Both myself and Brian are quite involved in terms of the support we can offer Trustees and the management team, which has been nice.

“The role really doesn’t take up too much time, it can be what you want it to be – from just being involved around the time of the AGM, to being more involved throughout the year

“There are opportunities, for example, to offer more support to the Trustees and management team on sub-committees. Again, if you do that, it’s not a huge time pressure. Importantly, though, you’re supporting the Charity and it’s incredibly enjoyable. I’ve been able to reunite with old friends in this role – and I’m incredibly grateful.”

We are currently recruiting for new Company Members. To find out more visit www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/companymember or email companysecretary@firefighterscharity.org.uk.