News

MedCert Loves: The Gamekeepers Welfare Trust

To mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May), we’re taking a look at the work of a fantastic organisation which supports a key part of the shooting community: The Gamekeepers Welfare Trust.

Founded in 1992, the Gamekeepers Welfare Trust is a registered charity that supports gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and their families in times of need. The Trust’s mission is to promote and preserve the physical and mental wellbeing of those who work in the gamekeeping profession and to offer help and support to those who face financial, medical, or emotional difficulties.

One of the Trust’s key services is its Helpline, which offers a confidential and non-judgmental listening ear. The Helpline is staffed by trained volunteers who understand the unique challenges of the gamekeeping profession and who can offer practical advice and emotional support to those in need. This includes signposting to free counselling where appropriate.

All of their work is confidential: you can call Jamie’s Helpline and the GWT Health Line, or email, entirely in confidence:
– Jamie’s Helpline 0300 1233 088
– GWT Health Line 0300 011 0018
– help@thegamekeeperswelfaretrust.com

In addition to this, the Trust also provides a number of bespoke information packs, both online and in print, which provide valuable guides to those struggling with their mental health.

These resources are all alongside the GWT’s other offerings, which include training courses, practical assistance on housing and employment, and financial support – the latter including emergency grants, hardship funds, and educational bursaries.

The Gamekeeper’s Welfare Trust is a vital lifeline for gamekeepers and their families, offering practical and emotional support when it’s needed most. Its work helps to ensure that gamekeepers can continue to play their vital role in the conservation and management of our countryside, and that they receive the support and recognition they deserve.

If you’d like to find out more, you can visit their website at thegamekeeperswelfaretrust.com You’ll also find their wonderful CEO Helen Benson and other members of staff and volunteers at many of the shooting and game fairs over the course of the year.

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Vote for MedCert!

As we might have mentioned once or twice, we were over the moon to have been selected as finalists in the Countryside Alliance awards for the Midlands Region. Voting is now open, and if you have a second to spare we’d be very grateful for your support. To cast your vote for us, follow these steps:

  1. Visit https://www.research.net/r/caawardsmidlandsbusiness
  2. Enter your name and email address
  3. Tick the ‘Rural Enterprise’ category under step 3, ‘Select a Category to Vote For’.
  4. Tick the box next to MedCert!
  5. Choose whether or not to vote in other categories and click next.

The Midlands category as a whole is a fantastic showcase of the breadth and depth of rural enterprise in our region, and we’re honoured to be included. Voting ends on 5 March!

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Nonsense and Bunkum

There is an awful lot of nonsense floating around about the medical requirements for licensing at the moment. There are any number of scary tales on forums and “my mate knows this chap” stories being told wherein the individual, through absolutely no fault of their own, has had their guns removed and their licence revoked. The vast majority are total bunkum at best these tales can often provide misleading lessons for those looking to preserve their own licences, and has given rise to a number of myths about medical verification reports.

The first myth to put to bed is that this process is new. The physical piece of paper, the proforma, is new and the timings are different, but the questions remain the same and the requirement for the individual to declare any relevant medical conditions is as important as ever. The main timing change is that whereas in previous years the individual would make application and the firearms licensing unit would then approach the GP for a confirmation of the information that the gun had placed on their application, this confirmation must now be submitted with the rest of the applicant’s paperwork.

As stated, this is nothing particularly new, and certainly not a system designed to remove guns from the individual or to specifically create income for the GPs. That said, a number of GPs have seen this as an opportunity to charge preposterous fees for the work done.

Completing a medical proforma falls into the category of private medicine, and because of this the individual surgery or GP may choose not to do the work, or to charge whatever fee they wish. Based on anecdotal evidence we estimate the average surgery fee to be £250, although the highest fee that we are aware of is £795 – more than the price of many new guns! I should however point out that there are still a number of surgeries who do this work efficiently and at a reasonable price.

Continue reading “Nonsense and Bunkum”

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We’re a Countryside Alliance Awards Finalist!

We are delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted to win a Countryside Alliance Award in the Midlands region!

The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food & farming, enterprise and heritage through small hard-working businesses. The awards are now in their sixteenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to tell us why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim. The awards received over seventeen thousand nominations this year so we’re beyond thrilled to have made the cut! We’re up against some fantastic businesses and you can see the full list of finalists in our region on the Countryside Alliance website. Congratulations to all of our fellow finalists!

Countryside Alliance Awards Director Sarah Lee commented: “We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year. The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services. They exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight. These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside.”

Winners for these awards, known as the Rural Oscars, will be chosen via a public vote in February and announced in the spring. We’re incredibly happy to have made it this far and are very grateful to everyone that nominated us. Thank you so much for your support!

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Christmas Opening Hours

Our wreath from the Tree Barn in Christmas Common!

We’re closing our office at 5pm on 22nd December until 3rd January 2023. We’re very much looking forward to spending the festive break with our friends and families and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Work will continue on in the background during this period but please note our phone lines will not be open and you may not receive a response to non-urgent queries until the first week of January.

Continue reading “Christmas Opening Hours”

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Registered address: 30 Crosby Road North, Liverpool, England, L22 4QF. Company number 12134380
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Postal strikes in December

Due to the ongoing postal strikes we will be sending copies of completed reports to clients via email rather than Royal Mail. If you require your paper copy before the new year then please contact us.