Sometimes it is difficult to know where to look for help, especially when you are unsure about approaching organisations for the first time. This section is aimed at helping to start you off - by identifying the types of helping charities and societies available and their contact details.
Some are charities and other organisations we have supported which assist those who are working, or have worked, in the civil service and wider public sector. Others are organisations which offer valuable advice on specific issues such as welfare benefits or provide dedicated services for their membership. Contact them direct for further information and assistance.
Organisations supporting those who have worked in specific sectors or employment and help with advice and financial assistance:
The BT Benevolent Fund
The BT Benevolent Fund serves current and former BT employees, pensioners and their dependents, the emphasis of its work being on the relief of financial hardship. Each year the Fund deals with more than 700 applications for help and also assists some 220 elderly people on very low incomes with weekly grants towards daily living costs. In all the Fund spends over £0.75m annually on charitable aid.
Contact us at www.benevolent.bt.com/bf or 0208 726145
The Charity for Civil Servants
The Charity for Civil Servants (formerly The Civil Service Benevolent Fund) supports all civil servants, past and present, throughout their lives, with whatever problems they may have. Visit their website - www.foryoubyyou.org.uk - to find out more about the ways in which it can make difficult times a little easier, as well as how you can support the Charity in its work – either by donating, volunteering or fundraising.
Call freephone 0800 056 2424 for help & advice.
The Edridge Fund – National Association of Probation Officers
The Edridge Fund of Napo is an independent Charity, set up to help staff working in Probation, and the Family Courts CAFCASS service. We provide financial assistance, and have a network of local representatives who can assist applicants. Application forms can be downloaded from our website www.edridgefund.org.
Email address for enquiries : firstname.lastname@example.org
Voicemail 020 3397 7025 – standard call charges apply
Northern Ireland Prison Service Central Benevolent Fund
The Northern Ireland Prison Service Central Benevolent Fund is a charity who looks after the welfare of Serving Officers, Retired Officers, Widows and their families. We provide a range of services to look after their varying needs, we also provide an aftercare service to bereaved families and assist Prison Staff who retired early for medical reasons.
For more information on the Central Benevolent Fund contact our office:
Post Office Orphans Benevolent Institution (POOBI)
POOBI is a charitable organisation established in 1870 to help the families of Post Office (now Royal Mail and Post Office Ltd) staff.
We exist to help children in hard pressed families and can do so in a number of ways:
Bursaries to help a family support a young person at University. A charitable gift, it does need to be repaid) which is currently worth £1500 a year for up to 3 years for those studying for a First degree at a UK University. For details of the scheme, terms and conditions see our website poobi.org Rising Stars scheme.
A grant for families which have a young person (under the age of 18) with talent and potential in the areas of the performing arts and sport and who needs help in ‘stepping up a level’ in their chosen field for example, though more advanced coaching, specialist equipment or the costs of attending auditions. Worth £600 and payable as a single grant. For terms and conditions please see our website: www.poobi.org or telephone 0207 239 2295 (voicemail) or write to POOBI, Royal Mail, 185 Farringdon Road, London, EC1A 1AA.
Prison Officers Association (POA) Welfare Fund Charity
The Welfare Fund committee meet on a monthly basis to consider applications for assistance from contributing members in distress and those needing to attend the Fire Fighters recuperation centres.
The charity cannot consider applications that are to assist with debt.
For further information visit www.poauk.org.uk or call 0208845693
Railway Benefit Fund
The RBF is the only charity working exclusively for people associated with the rail industry who find themselves in need. We offer services to current and former railway workers and their families who face financial difficulties through illness, injury, bereavement and adversity.
For further information visit: www.railwaybenefitfund.org.uk
Relatives & Residents Association
The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) exists to improve the quality of life of older people in residential care. Our national Helpline (020 7359 8136) supports residents, their families and friends by providing friendly, up-to-date, accurate information on what to look for in a care home and what to expect. This includes standards and quality of care, making complaints as well as the complicated rules around paying for care. For more about our work please go to www.relres.org
The Rowland Hill Fund
The Rowland Hill Fund is ready to help financially Royal Mail and Post Office people past and present and their dependants. Help with rent, mortgage and utility bill arrears, disability aids, home modifications, hospital travelling expenses, respite breaks, funeral expenses, white goods, furniture, heating/boiler repairs and much more. Call 0800 6888 777, option 1 then option 4. Complete confidentiality.
The CSiS Charity Fund has supported RHF for many years and funded a P. Pod, which is a specially moulded chair, for 7 year old Joshua who has Cerebral Palsy. They have also funded Martin’s lightweight wheelchair after he had four major back operations and a bathroom conversion for Ivor who has Meniere’s disease affecting his inner ear. The Fund are incredibly grateful to the CSiS Charity Fund, their sponsorship makes an incredible difference in supporting people and giving them independence.
Visit our website www.rowlandhillfund.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The following membership organisations offer a range of support services:
Civil Service Pensioners Alliance
The CSPA is a campaigning and lobbying group for pensioners from Civil Service and related pension schemes. They are an independent, non-party political organisation with an elected Executive Council, an annual policy-making conference and about 100 local Groups throughout the UK. They are the only organisation recognised by Government Departments, Agencies, etc as speaking for all Civil Service pensioners. The CSPA has over 55,000 members.
The Civil Service Retirement Fellowship
The CSRF is a charity dedicated to ensuring all retired Civil Servants, partners and dependants are provided with social activities, volunteering opportunities, befriending schemes (National Visitors Network and Phone Buddy), friendship, advice and lots more.
The National Visitors Network was launched in 2013 thanks to financial support received from the CSIS Charity Fund and provided 1,500 home visits in 2014 to those in need of friendship and company.
Alex, one of our volunteers, on the National Visitors Network with Grace, the lady he visits
The HASSRA Development Scheme has been in operation since 1986, providing financial support to individual members who want to develop their skills in a sport, pastime or recreational activity where it involves an expense they would find difficult to meet. Funding for applications from members who consider themselves to be disadvantaged or to have a disability is provided by the CSiS Charity Fund.
Go to www.hassra.org.uk/development/index.asp . Contact number for enquiries: 020 7829 3358
NHS Retirement Fellowship
The Fellowship is a registered charity that exists to promote the welfare and interests of retired NHS staff. It was established in 1978 and has gone from strength to strength, enjoying the support of NHS Chief Executives at local and national level. Their local branches are a key part of the Fellowship and members enjoy a range of sporting, leisure and social activities. The Fellowship also has a Benevolent Fund to support members and their partners in financial need.
If the above are not suitable for you financial, general advice and signposting are provided by:
Citizens Advice Bureau
CABs offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice for everyone online, by phone or in person from local Citizens Advice. They help people resolve their problems with benefits, work, debt and money, consumer, discrimination and many other issues. Local Citizens Advice offer advice from over 3,500 locations including high streets, community centres, doctors' surgeries, courts and prisons. Search for your local Citizens Advice to see the full range of services it provides. www.citizensadvice.org.uk
The UK's leading debt advice charity has been helping people break free from problem debt for 20 years. Offers free advice on problem debt and tailored advice and practical solutions to help manage debt. Tel 0800 138 1111. www.stepchange.org
Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through partner organisations. Their web site includes a benefits calculator, a grants search database, information and interactive tools providing a wide range of subjects on welfare benefits, charitable grants and managing money. It now embraces the work of Elizabeth Finn Care under the Turn2us brand. www.turn2us.org.uk
Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care. We champion and support the work of more than 200 member organisations, which provide hospice care across the UK, so that they can deliver the highest quality of care to people with terminal or life limiting conditions, and support their families.
For more information about Hospice UK, please visit our website www.hospiceuk.org or telephone: 020 7520 8200.
Tax Volunteers for Older People
Tax Volunteers is a registered UK national charity that provides free and expert tax help and advice for older people, 60+, who have an income of less than £20,000 a year. Our service operates under the name of Tax Help for Older People.
Contact us at 01308 488066 or 0845 6013321
Find us at www.taxvol.org.uk