History of the Welfare Fund

CIoJ Welfare Fund logo

The Welfare Fund was formally started in 2020 after three years of work to amalgamate three existing Funds – the Institute’s Benevolent, Orphan and Pension Funds.

Change was proposed because some Institute members and trustees felt that better support could be provided to families at times of need if the funds were merged. The existing charities were set up in 1943, 1891 and 1939 respectively, well before the creation of the modern welfare state and at a time when society was very different. It was felt that a merged Welfare Fund would not only allow for a more efficient application process but also enable one committee to consider providing support to families which may have multiple needs, rather than requiring them to make two or three separate applications to different committees.

At the Institute’s annual conference in 2016, members agreed that the membership should be consulted for their thoughts on the merger proposal. The idea was contentious, however, with a number of conference participants expressing the view that the old-established funds worked perfectly well in their separated form. During the year following, several articles were published in the Institute’s Journal to familiarise members with the issues, and at the following conference (2017) there was a full debate. A number of members expressed strong views on both sides of the argument. However, when the vote was taken, the majority agreed that the merger should go ahead.

The Institute’s lawyers drafted a new Trust Deed which mirrored the Objects of the original Trust documents but satisfied the requirements of the latest Charity Acts, and at the Institute’s 2018 AGM members formally approved the document, together with a new set of Rules.

During 2019, Council took the decision that the inaugural trustees should be appointed from the trustees of the existing funds. Nominations were put to a ballot at the Institute’s AGM later that year and Norman Bartlett, Liz Justice and Paul Leighton were elected.

With trustees appointed, the application to the Charity Commission was complete, and on March 9, 2020, the Commission gave its approval to the merger and the creation of the CIoJ Welfare Fund.

The best aspect of the Orphan Fund would have to be the ability they gave me to better myself and allowing me to focus on growing as a person.  The most unexpected thing for me was the help I received through my masters; something I could not have done without the support I got and which has set me on the path to my career.

The help we have received from the CIOJ has allowed the children’s lives to carry on as normally as possible in the day-to-day sense, whilst adjusting to life without their Dad. Not just financially, the interest in our lives and the support offered by those involved in the Fund has been amazingly supportive.