The Benevolent Society, the long-established registered charity of the British Allied Trades Federation (the umbrella body of which the British Jewellers’ Association is a part), is looking for people who once worked in the jewellery, giftware, leather goods and surface finishing industries who have fallen on hard times and may need modest financial assistance.
The Society is funded by donations from companies within the BAT Federation and also receives money from the proceeds of the annual ‘Benevolent Society Ball’ which is held in the West Midlands in December and last year raised £23,000 to add to the Charity’s coffers.
“We are currently in the fortunate position of having funds to allocate and are looking for new beneficiaries whom we can assist with the purchase of essential household items such as cookers, washing machines and fridges as well as being able to provide grants for medical requirements such as mobility scooters and wheelchairs,” says the Society’s Vice Chairman, David Doyle.
The Society can also offer suitable candidates, who can demonstrate their financial distress, the money to meet utility bills and bad debts. In some cases regular financial support, in the form of a grant, is provided: so too interest-free loans. Another feature of the Society’s work is an annual outing which comprises a coach trip to a place of interest and lunch out for its regular beneficiaries. For many participants this provides their only ‘holiday’ of the year and is very much appreciated.
Recent grants include £1500 for a mobility scooter to someone – now too incapacitated to work – whose business collapsed robbing him of his life savings and his home and leaving him in debt; while another beneficiary, an OAP who has extremely modest means – has received £200 towards a new gas cooker.
Whilst it may have funds available at present, the Society is always looking for financial support from those in the industries where it operates and Doyle is keen to attract a wider audience to its annual Ball which this year takes place in Solihull on 4th December.
“This is an excellent opportunity to take customers or suppliers as well as being a great place to entertain friends from outside the industry or to stage a staff Christmas party. There will be varied entertainment throughout the evening, including music acts and a fabulous disc. I can guarantee a great time,” he says.
Everyone on the Committee of the Benevolent Society gives their not inconsiderable time for free. “Absolutely nothing goes on expenses so it is a very effective way to give and you can guarantee that your money is going to those who need it most. For those of us fortunate enough to have prospered in our industry this a wonderful way to give something back to those who have not,” says Doyle
If you know of someone in need or would like to know more about the work of the Society contact Lynn Snead on 0121 745 4613 or visit www.batf.uk.com/en/benevolent-society