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Benevolent fund

When life gets tough

We’ve all had ups and downs - but there are times when life can be particularly challenging. Perhaps you have found yourself out of work for a long period, have health issues, or become a carer for someone close to you. Whatever it is, the EI Benevolent fund may be able to help.

The Benevolent fund was set up by EI members to help energy professionals and their dependents in need. The Fund is administered by the Benevolent fund Committee, and funded by donations from EI members, past and present.

How can we help

You can apply to the Benevolent fund for help with any situation which is causing hardship and having an impact on your life – it might be support with a short-term problem or a with a situation where a small amount of help could give you a better quality of life.

Everyone’s needs are different, and no two applications are the same, so we tailor the help we give depending on the circumstances. Where we make grants, these are usually small or short term, and you will need to show that you are experiencing hardship of some kind. Sometimes the support we offer may be in the form of advice or other support rather than money.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for support from the Benevolent fund you will need to be a current or past member of the EI, or a dependent (a close family member or partner who is or was reliant on the EI member for financial or practical support).

Please be aware that in most cases we will ask you to provide details of your financial situation so that we can establish whether and how we are able to help you, but you can use our simple form to tell us about your situation and make an initial enquiry.

Please download the form below and send it to: eibf@energyinst.org

Download form

24-hour helpline

Support the Benevolent fund

Every little bit helps with our work. If you would like to make a donation to help those in energy who find themselves in need, click here.

Other sources of help

Whoever we are, life can be full of ups and downs, opportunities and challenges both in our working and personal life. If the Benevolent fund can’t help directly, chances are there are other organisations and network which can.

If there are other important organisations we have missed, please let us know.

The Benevolent fund in action

Over the years the fund has been able to help many past and present members and their dependants. Here are just a few:

Already in her eighties, Mrs C found herself lonely and isolated following the death of her husband, with a family scattered all around the world. The EI Benevolent fund were able to fund a laptop so that she could communicate with her loved ones – and arranged some training to help her use it!

Ms R was part way through an energy course and had not long given birth to their first child when her husband died suddenly. The EI Benevolent fund was able to help with some immediate costs to help her get back on her feet.

Mr. A suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy and had a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted. He already had a standard type of oxygen concentrator, but this was too heavy to be easily taken away from home, so the Fund paid for the purchase of a portable unit.

Mr. M was unemployed when he was over-whelmed by a heart condition. The Fund has helped with basic advice, together with the purchase of the replacement of essential domestic equipment and paid for a retraining course. He has since been able to return to work.

Mrs. A was widowed and obliged to work part-time to supplement her income at a time when most people are thinking of retirement. With the Fund’s help she was able to stay in her home and visit her daughter.

Other sources of help and support

Whoever we are, life can be full of ups and downs, opportunities and challenges both in our working and personal life. If the Benevolent fund can’t help directly, chances are there are other organisations and network which can.

If there are other important organisations we have missed, please let us know.

Funding your studies

Want to continue with your studies but not sure where the money is coming from?

The Gov.UK is the go-to place for information about student finance, including grants and allowances for particular needs and circumstances.

https://www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance

Most universities have a welfare team who can provide you with advice on a range of issues including student funding and support. They can give you impartial, non-judgemental advice and may be able to provide additional financial support to help meet your essential living and course-related costs through a range of hardship funds or emergency loans. Your university department may also be able to provide additional advice or potential contacts for bursaries, summer or term time employment.

The Scholarship Hub provides a database of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships as well as extensive advice on various study options and what they might cost and other ways of supporting yourself while you learn.

https://www.thescholarshiphub.org.uk/.

Turn to us provides a searchable database of grants covering a range of situations including support for those who are studying

Retirement

Retirement is one of life’s big events, but though we often think about the finances, and look forward to the free time, we sometimes forget to plan for its social and emotional impact.

Age UK provides advice on what you should think about before you retire and how to make it work for you, as well as advice and information on a range of other issues which can affect our lives and those of the people we care about as we grow older. There is a free helpline and, if you want to get more involved, opportunities to volunteer.

Don’t forget that if you are fully retired you can claim a concessionary rate on your EI membership fees. Contact the EI membership team at membership@energyinst.org.

Mental health

According to Mind, the mental health charity approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year; in England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. If you are facing issues to do with your mental health, whether it be stress, panic attacks, anxiety or depression, or are close to someone who is having problems, you are in good company.

As well as offering extensive advice and information resources on their website Mind run two weekday helplines, one giving general mental health advice and support, and the other offering legal information and advice. There is also an online forum where you can talk about mental health issues in a ‘safe’ space. https://www.mind.org.uk/

Anxiety UK is the national charity helping those with anxiety issues. As well as conducting research into anxiety they can put you in touch with helplines, therapists and self-help groups. https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/

The NHS’s Live Well site includes a range of information advice and links, including a number of mental health audio guides and podcasts. There is advice on dealing with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression as well as advice on general well being including signposting to other useful services.

Time to change is a campaigning group that aims to inform the public about mental health, and end the stigmatisation of mental health issues https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-us

Samaritans offer non-judgemental emotional support by telephone. However, you are feeling they can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.Calls are free to those in the UK and Ireland on 116 123 and lines are open 24 hours every single day of the year and you can also email them at jo@samaritans.org. For further information visit https://www.samaritans.org/

As ever, if you have concerns about your mental health, it is important to talk to your doctor as soon as you can. If you need help now, but it’s not an emergency, call 111.

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