The Institution of Plant Engineers (IPlantE) Benevolent Fund was established by George Mitchell to assist any UK member, former member, or their dependents, who had fallen on hard times.
The Fund is an independent charity, Company No. 260934, registered on 1 January 1970 with an initial contribution of £1,000 from IPlantE.
After the inaugural meeting, every UK branch elected a Branch Almoner; their function was to report to the Fund information on any UK member, former member or dependent that may require some financial assistance.
The Fund Trustees would attend three meetings per year to discuss matters and issue grants to worthy beneficiaries. The branches also kindly raised funds at branch functions. Thus, over the years the initial £1,000 capital grew considerably.
Benevolent Fund AGMs were held around the country during the yearly IPlantE conferences. During the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s the Fund functioned very well, always assisting worthy beneficiaries whenever and wherever it could.
The Fund motto is: ‘If we know we can help’. We did know, of course, due to the constant communication and financial support from all the branches. Dick Wyatt was the Fund Chairman during this period for some 29 years.
In the late 1990s the branches started to suffer from declining attendances and eventually the network of branches ceased to operate by 2010. The previous number of branch almoners has sadly declined: however, some almoner’s still assist the Fund, which is greatly appreciated.
In September 2000 IPlantE merged with IRTE to become SOE. At that time, the Charity Commission insisted that the IPlantE Benevolent Fund should only operate for former and past members of the IPlantE prior to the 2000 merger. This was the case up until 2016, when we again approached the Charity Commission to change our rules. We wanted to allow UK IPlantE and BES Professional Sector members and former members to be beneficiaries of the Fund. The rules change was subsequently acknowledged and accepted by the Charity Commission.
The Fund continues to function well, even with recent virtual meetings. This page is to provide a point of contact for any UK IPlantE and BES members, if they need any financial help due to their circumstances. If you are interested in helping the Fund, either as an almoner or to contribute, please contact: [email protected]