Member Spotlight July/August: ICE Benevolent Fund

What is the ICE Benevolent Fund?

We all need a helping hand from time to time. That is why the ICE Benevolent Fund has
been supporting members of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and their families since
1864. The ICE Ben Fund is a separate entity to the ICE with its own set of Trustees and
governing documents.

The phrase ‘Benevolent Fund’ can have archaic connotations; we are proud to have bought
the charity into the modern age, supporting civil engineers at the forefront of society.

What’s on offer?

The Ben Fund can offer financial assistance to members who are facing challenging
circumstances. We even have help for students through our disabled and disadvantaged
student scheme. For members with more complicated situations, we can offer support
through our Independent Financial Education Consultant.

Some members who face financial instability do so as they are out of work. We assist
members who are looking to return to the workplace through our partnership with career
transition consultancy, Chiumento Ltd.

Partnering with Anxiety UK allows us to provide support for members and their families
facing anxiety, stress, and anxiety-based depression. Counselling can also be provided for
specific life events such as bereavement and divorce – we can even support ICE member’s
children with specialist counselling. Our latest success story sees us helping ICE members
create a Will for free.

ICE members have access to a vast array of events designed to support personal and
financial resilience. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we were well placed to continue
supporting members in an increasingly virtual world.

Our impact

With tens of thousands of people supported, the most concise way to showcase our impact
is through the stories of those we help.

Sofiane was working part time, living in a one-bedroom flat in London with his wife and two
young children. When the time came, he got in touch with the Ben Fund to request financial
support to renew his subscription fee. Head of Casework and Services, Lindsay Howell,
quickly identified a number of avenues of support available to Sofiane through the Ben Fund.

Sofiane says “It’s important that members of ICE support the Benevolent Fund… any
member can go through the difficulties I went through”.

Nick was referred to Anxiety UK for face-to-face counselling sessions. He had previously
suffered with mental health issues and knew how crippling these can be if left to get out of
hand. Nick recognised that it can be difficult to get a referral quickly via the NHS, so he
approached the Ben Fund. The speed of referral and the fact that he could fit this in around
working hours allowed him to take care of himself.

Nick says “I am sure that this referral, and the sessions, ensured that I did not spiral into a
dark place and allowed me the opportunity to go through what was a difficult time and to
come out the other side”.