Benevolence – Making A Difference
The ATS & WRAC Association Benevolent Fund awards one-off and recurring financial grants to purchase specific goods, services or facilities for eligible former servicewomen, or their dependents, in need. The charity also provides annual maintenance grants to former servicewomen who are either elderly, alone, living on low incomes or in ill health, and makes contributions to top-up care-home fees.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR HELP?
Any former ATS or WRAC servicewoman, including TA, with one day’s paid service or more, is eligible for assistance.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CRITERIA?
Yes, you must be in need of financial help. There’s also a limit on the amount of savings that you can have above which the Benevolent Fund is unable to make an award. To qualify for a maintenance grant you must be living alone on a basic state pension and in poor health.
ONE OFF GRANTS
The fund has helped with one-off grants in a wide range of categories including:
- House repairs and adaptations
- Mobility aids
- Funeral expenses
- Priority debt
- Clothing and Food
- Central heating/boilers
- Household and white goods
- Removal and travel expenses
- Rent, deposits and bonds
- Respite Breaks
REGULAR CHARITABLE PAYMENTS:
Princess Royal Memorial Fund Annual Maintenance Grants (AMG) – a grant to help with day-to-day living expenses. Applicants will be of State Retirement Age, living on a low income and demonstrate need for such assistance.
Overseas Princess Royal Memorial Fund Annual Maintenance Grant (Overseas PRMF AMG) – these have the same criteria as the AMG but for those ex service women living overseas.
Ben Fund Annual Maintenance Grant (AMG) – this grant is for applicants below state pension age where there is a long term need for support. It would apply to those who are unable to find employment through no fault of their own, persistently poor health or due to caring for family members.
Ben Fund Support Supplement (SS) – a short term grant of variable duration for those applicants below State Retirement Age. It can be used to cover income shortfalls arising from delays in receiving state benefits or short term loss of salary due to medical treatment.
Care Enhancement Grant (CEG) – weekly assistance for beneficiaries of state pensionable age to cover nursing/care home fees top up, care at home or a personal expense allowance for those resident in a nursing/care home.
All Regular Charitable Payments are reviewed on an annual basis.
SO HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR HELP?
If you are a former ATS or WRAC regular or TA servicewoman who needs assistance, or if you know someone who is, then your first port of call is your local branch of SSAFA or regional Royal British Legion (RBL) office. SSAFA or the RBL will arrange for a trained caseworker to interview you in your home to establish the full range of assistance that you need. The caseworker will complete a report that includes details of your household income. This is called means-testing and ensures that your Benevolent Fund’s charitable money goes to those in real need. When the report is complete it is sent to the Benevolent Fund Secretary. Once received, applications are considered at the appropriate grants committee meeting and a decision is taken.
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…Many, many thanks for all your help with my boiler problem. I have not stopped smiling and how nice it was this morning to wake up to a house that is warm in every room. To not have to boil a kettle to take upstairs to have a wash, or to have to boil a kettle to wash my dishes. It was heaven and makes you appreciate the things we take for granted in life…Mrs U
…Miss V is literally ‘over the moon’. It will enable her to maintain her independence and having just a bit more cash flow makes such a difference should a wee crisis occur – she now has peace of mind that she can cope. Miss V prides herself on keeping out of debt and this will ease what has been quite a struggle…Miss V
…I visited Mrs — today and saw her new cooker installed. She is delighted and asked me to pass on her grateful thanks. Without your help she would never have been able to afford a new cooker and if you saw the state of the old one you would be amazed that it ever worked…Mrs W
…We would like to thank you for the help given to my mother towards a stair-lift. At 95 years of age I am sure you can appreciate that this has been a considerable help to her, helping her greatly in being able to look after herself. Also for myself and other members of her family as we no longer have to worry so much about her going upstairs…Mrs X
…On behalf of my mother I would like to thank you very much for the financial support that you have given her in the past and for increasing this amount recently. Thanks to you and other organizations my mother, 92, is extremely well looked after by caring staff in very pleasant and comfortable surroundings…Mrs Y