Looking after our own…The Benevolent Fund was established in 1942 for the relief of women in need who had been, for at least three consecutive years, members of a Soroptimist Club in the United Kingdom including the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland. Its income is derived from an annual levy on members within these islands, interest from investments, and from donations and legacies.
We are all aware that, over recent years income from legacies has diminished, and due to a number of factors, not least the current Covid 19 Pandemic, need is as great, if not greater, than it has ever been.
Applications to the fund are treated with the utmost confidence, therefore, it is difficult to give you a case study, however, you will know from the media that some of the people to be hardest hit is recent times are small business owners. Does this ‘ring a bell’ when you think of some of our working members? Or think of those who have been furloughed but had to wait a considerable length of time until the payments were ‘sorted out’, and until their applications for a ‘mortgage holiday’ could be considered – some were in considerable difficulty through no fault of their own.
In addition to the above there have been redundancies and, despite best efforts, this is not the best time to be applying for a job irrespective of your qualifications.
As it stands at the moment, without a considerable increase in its investments, the Benevolent Fund will run out of money in approximately five years. The Trustees do not want this to happen because they know the stories (which I cannot share with you) but, as the Trustee from Midland Chase, I ask you to ask yourselves the question – What if it was me? More than ever, this year has shown us that hardship/need can arrive at the door of those who least expect it.
Next year the Fund will be 80 years old, please help it to continue well beyond its 85th birthday and, if you are a tax payer please gift aid your donations.
If you need more information, an informal chat, or would like me to attend your club meeting, please contact me by e mail.
Thank you: In Soroptimist Friendship.
SIGBI Benevolent Fund Trustee, SI Midland Chase