Inspired by its founding motto, “If we know we can help,” the Benevolent Fund remains steadfast in its commitment to providing assistance to those in need.


Established on January 1st, 1970, by George Mitchell, the Institution of Plant Engineers’ (IPlantE) Benevolent Fund has stood as a pillar of support for UK members, former members, and their dependents during times of adversity. Inspired by its founding motto, “If we know we can help,” the Fund has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing assistance to those in need. 

Under the dedicated leadership of Dick Wyatt, who chaired the Fund for an impressive 29 years, it thrived, offering aid and comfort to worthy beneficiaries across the country. However, as the late 1990s approached, the Fund faced challenges with dwindling branch attendance, leading to the eventual cessation of branch operations by 2010. 

Despite this setback, the Fund persevered, thanks to the unwavering dedication of some branch almoners who continued to provide invaluable assistance to those in need. The landscape of support shifted following the merger of IPlantE with the IRTE in September 2000, resulting in the formation of the SOE. This merger prompted the Charity Commission to impose restrictions on the Fund’s beneficiaries, limiting support to former and past IPlantE members pre-2000. 

However, recognising the evolving needs of its community, the Fund successfully petitioned the Charity Commission in 2016 to amend its rules, extending support to include IPlantE and BES Professional Sector members and former members. Despite recent challenges, including the transition to virtual meetings, the Fund remains resilient and optimistic about its future. Embracing technological advancements, it continues to adapt its operations to ensure the seamless delivery of support services to those in need. 

Looking ahead, the Fund is committed to expanding its reach and impact. Plans are underway to enhance support services and outreach initiatives, ensuring that it remains a vital lifeline for BES and IPlantE members facing financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances. With a rich history spanning over five decades, the IPlantE Benevolent Fund stands as a testament to the power of compassion and solidarity within the engineering community. Its unwavering dedication to supporting members and their families during times of need embodies the spirit of camaraderie and mutual support that defines the engineering profession.

Click here for further information about the Benevolent Fund.