The Association maintains a Benevolent Fund which is used to assist members or their families in case of need. The fund is most often used in cases of financial hardship but can also be used to meet for requests where the member is not actually experiencing financial difficulties but for whom additional funds would be useful. As example, the Fund might meet the costs of travel in cases where a near relative of a member was seriously ill and the member, while not in financial difficulties, could not afford to make the trip. The Fund may also be used to assist retired members.
Members seeking assistance are asked to provide a disclosure of their financial circumstances. Where support is given this is generally limited to a period of six months. Support may also be given on a single payment basis.
Support may also be available to the spouses/ partners of deceased members.
Cases should be referred to the General Secretary in the first instance. Notification of cases of need may be received from a variety of sources. It is not essential that the member makes the first contact. The General Secretary is empowered to make payments from the Fund but will generally do so in consultation with the General Treasurer. Difficult cases or those involving new points of principle are referred to the Finance Committee for its consideration.