Our aims and work
CSIS Charity Fund is a highly focused organisation with the welfare of former, retired and serving civil and public servants at its heart.
Who constitutes a civil or public servant has a wide interpretation in the charity’s Objects. Those who may benefit from our help include:
- Employees of government departments
- Government agencies and non-departmental public bodies
- The forces
- The NHS
- Local government employees
- Railway workers
- Privatised bodies that were formerly part of the civil service such as BT and the Post Office, whose pensioners were civil servants when they were working
NHS Retirement Fellowship Members
Our Trustees are tasked with the job of putting the trading surplus of the Civil Service Insurance Society to good use by giving grants for the benefit of people like those outlined above.
The bodies that receive our grants are chosen specifically because of their commitment to helping people from our target group and their dependants during times of financial hardship, distress or personal loss. They may take action by setting up time-limited programmes or community projects, or by helping individuals more directly with financial/emotional support.
Our main partner, to whom we make an annual, unrestricted grant, is the Charity for Civil Servants. It exists to provide practical, personal support and advice to more than 4 million people who have worked or work in qualifying civil service roles.
As well as our regular grant – usually in the order of £250,000 – the Fund has made additional donations to the Charity for Civil Servants for special projects. A recent award of £28,000 helped support a new dementia pilot project.
We, too, benefit from the expertise of the Charity for Civil Servants, which helps us by visiting a small number of widows of deceased CSIS policyholders to assess their needs and advise us on the best way to support them.
For ease of reading, some key facts and figures around our grant giving are set out separately, which can also be downloaded here.
For a list of charities and not-for-profit groups we have helped over the years, visit our ‘Help for organisations’ page here.
Alternatively, you can click on the names below for a snapshot of the important work some of those organisations are able to carry out with our financial help.
- Education Support Partnership
- Rowland Hill Fund
- BT Benevolent Fund
- The Charity for Civil Servants
- MOD FAB Activity Holidays
- Hospice UK
- Civil Service Retirement Fellowship
- Post Office Orphans Benevolent Institution
- NI Retired Prison Officers Fellowship
- Railway Benefit Fund
- Even more beneficiaries
Education Support Partnership (formerly Teacher Support Network)
The £20,000 donation from the fund helped the Partnership provide support for 250 education professionals such as - emergency payments for food and essentials, replacement boilers (in conjunction with other agencies) for several elderly and sick clients to enable them to stay in their homes, while essential IT equipment ensured that a teacher could meet the changing demands of her role and a wheelchair that enabled one applicant to leave her home on her own and secure her independence.
Rowland Hill Fund
The fund exists to support past and present staff of Royal Mail and Post Office Limited and in 2015 received a donation of £53,775 from the CSIS Charity Fund. Our donation helped to support an initiative to recruit local Ambassadors to boost local fundraising and awareness, as well as the fund's welfare and mobility grants. A serving Royal Mail employee with three young children received their support last year - his wife is paralysed from the neck down and needed a downstairs bedroom and wet room to give her some independence and reduce the burden on her carers.
BT Benevolent Fund
Past and present telecoms workers are supported in times of hardship by the fund. It has a potential beneficiary base of a million people and in 2015 received £60,000 from us to accelerate its postal pensioner contact and provide grants for its Care in the Home scheme. The contact scheme helps to identify those in need and make them aware of the help available. This included help with food and heating costs to a woman recently diagnosed with cancer, payment of removal costs for a recently bereaved pensioner and enabling an elderly woman to have her home redecorated for the first time in 25 years.
The Charity for Civil Servants
The charity received a £250,000 donation from us in 2105, making CSIS Charity Fund its largest single donor. With up to four million serving, former and retired civil servants eligible for the charity's help, individuals can apply for assistance when they are struggling with problems arising from job loss, disabilities, low incomes, caring responsibilities and so on. We have a long standing relationship with the charity, sometimes augmenting our regular grant giving with separate funds to help new initiatives and receive regular reports on the impact of our funding. More information is available from their web site.
MOD FAB Activity Holidays for Bereaved Service Families
Family Activity Breaks (FAB) has been supported by the Charity Fund since 2008 and in 2015 was awarded £30,000 to continue providing bereaved military families with activity-based holidays in an adventurous but caring environment. This enabled the charity to run camps at YHAs South Downs, Whitby and Coverack, Cornwall, giving opportunities for families to meet others going through the same experience, share time with them and receive peer support. Some 70 adults and 108 children attended the camps. Feedback from the families continues to confirm that the holidays meet a real need and make a huge difference to those involved.
Nearly half of the £100,600 we donated to Hospice UK went to finance another year of the Care Strategy and Support team. The team provides advice and guidance to professionals and volunteers working hospices to enable them to improve the quality of care. The remaining £50,600 helped finance six capital projects in Scotland including a contribution towards replacing a much used Jacuzzi in a children's hospice and a bariatric bed for adults in Edinburgh, plus refurbishment of therapy units and patient facilities in four hospices in other regions.
Civil Service Retirement Fellowship
The fellowship was granted £36,500 in 2015 to help continue the development of its National Visitors Network aimed at combating loneliness among their retired civil servant members. Training is provided for volunteers through a partnership with Samaritans, and the visits are warmly welcomed. We are represented on the steering committee for the project and receive regular reports on its progress and impact.
Post Office Orphans Benevolent Institution (POOBI)
Our donation of £20,000 to POOBI helped fund their University bursary scheme, their three year apprenticeships and their 'Rising Stars' scheme, which provides much needed support for families who have a child who is gifted in the performing arts.
Railway Benefit Fund (RBF)
The organisation supports existing and retired railway staff and their dependants in the face of illness, injury, bereavement and other adversity. We awarded them a grant of £40,000 to the RBF in 2015 for its general welfare grants and for market research to inform its efforts to refocus the charity.
Even More Beneficiaries
Relatives & Residents Association
We made an award of £17,000 to the Association in 2015 to help its development and its Keys to Care project. The Association benefits older people in residential care and their families nationwide, by giving them access to advice and support on the options available in the care sector.
Canterbury Oast Trust
The Trust was established in 1985 to give adults with learning difficulties a better future. A grant of £15,000 was given to the Trust in 2015 to help residents with severe learning difficulties to develop vital life skills and workplace knowledge.
NHS Retirement Fellowship
The fellowship gives retired NHS staff and their partners the chance to meet and make contact with others like them. We gave the charity £19,000 towards welfare grants and research to inform the long term refocussing of the organisation.
The main civil service union's Benevolent Fund received a £10,000 grant in 2015 to support its members.
TOP (Tax Help for Older People)
A £23,000 grant last year supported the help service run by volunteers, including a training video.
Prison Officers Association Welfare Fund
A Charity Fund grant of £15,000 supported a stress helpline, welfare grants and rehabilitation for injured officers during 2015.
National Association of Probation Officers (the Edridge Trust)
A £10,000 grant in 2015 supported the Trust's welfare provision.