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Help in a time of need - the CILIP Benevolent Fund

Nick Poole reminds us of the valuable help that the CILIP Benevolent Fund can provide to members who are experiencing financial worries, and talks about changes that will make it even easier to donate. AT this time of year the curtains are closed, the lights are on, but what about the heating? What if the boiler’s broken?

We know that for many, “just managing” excludes the luxury of a -financial buffer to meet unexpected bills. It’s a sad fact that CILIP members can sometimes experience difficulties in finding money for household bills, children’s necessities and other emergencies. These are just the situations which the CILIP Benevolent Fund (CBF) may be able to help CILIP members with by offering small grants for one-off payments.

Independent charity

The CBF is an independently-registered charity, separate from CILIP, with its own trustees. It is currently chaired by Biddy Fisher, a former president of CILIP. The chair is supported by seven trustees including Graham Cornish, Judy Powles, Michael Saith and Nicky Whitsed. Bernard Naylor and Gillian Pentelow, who have served the CBF over many years, for which we thank them, are stepping down. New trustees have now been recruited and will be announced shortly. The trustees have oversight of the CBF.

They assess each application and ensure it is administered ­appropriately. Gail Downe is the administrator – she ensures smooth working of the fund and is usually the first point of contact. Spread the word I am writing this piece now not just because it’s the time of year when boilers are switched on and break, but because the CBF has been refreshing itself over the last year and now needs your support in two ways.

Firstly we all need to spread the word about this great member benefit. Please encourage members past and present, if they have financial worries requiring one-off support, to get in touch with the CBF to see whether it may be able to help. Every communication, conversation and detail is received in absolute confidence. Although there is a rigorous process for assessing applications, the CBF seeks to support all reasonable requests. There is nothing to be lost by giving the fund a go.

Help someone in need

Secondly, the CBF is only able to undertake this work because of CILIP member donations. It would be wonderful if you could consider making a donation when you renew your membership each year, by one-off donations at any time or through ongoing donations via direct debit. The fund also benefits from legacies. This year the CBF has received such a legacy and was immediately able to help another hardship case.


Over the coming year, the new board of trustees will be working with CILIP to make ongoing changes which will make it easier to donate. Information is available on the CILIP website where details of how to apply for CBF grants and to make donations may be found. You can also help to spread the word about the CBF by following the fund on Twitter @CILIPBenevFund. Please help us to help our colleagues in times of need by spreading the word and making a donation. Thank you!

Published: 13 December 2017

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