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Member Spotlight: Institute of Quarrying Benevolent Fund

The Institute of Quarrying Benevolent Fund (IQBF) was established in 1925, eight years after the development of the Association of Quarry Managers, now the Institute of Quarrying.

The IQBF was created to help individual members or their families who were described as being ‘necessitous’.  At that time pensions were a relatively new concept and didn’t cover anyone who was pre-retirement age or anyone who couldn’t work for health reasons or injury.  The fund was established to fill those gaps and to offer financial support to members or dependants within the industry.  

Whilst initially, the IQBF and indeed the Institute of Quarrying itself was predominantly for those at managerial level, it is now for members throughout the industry and at whatever point in their career.  This means that the IQBF can support those still undertaking their studies, as well as those who have retired.  It can help both past and present members and their dependents.  It is a member benefit.  We don’t currently have a ‘length of membership’ requirement before an application can be made.  Each individual application is reviewed by the Board of Trustees.  

Financially we provide one-off grants generally to cover the costs of specific items.  We also offer ongoing support to those who find themselves unable to cope with everyday expenses due to a change in their circumstances, we may also pay for specific services.  As a benevolent fund we also offer ongoing support by way of regular contact via emails or telephone calls to current members, ex-members and their dependents.  We are also here to offer information, guidance and signposting to other services for those that require it.

Over the years the IQBF has supported many people.  We have been able to help a family to convert their car to a wheelchair accessible vehicle in order to be able to easily transport their physically disabled child around.  Another beneficiary was a dependent whose father passed away and the family were unable to continue to fund the costs of their son’s music course and the costs of a new instrument so we were able to help.  A wife of a member who passed away was unable to continue to cover all of her living expenses so we help on an ongoing basis.

Our main priority at the current time is to ensure that members, past and present are aware of the fund and to remind them what and who it is for.  We are keen to dispel any myths about whom we can and can’t help and how we can help.  Whilst increasing awareness of our purpose in the current climate has been difficult, we hope to continue to do this through various publicity, marketing and social media campaigns.  

We continue to be concerned about the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on our members and their families.  Whilst many of the areas within the industry continued to work and others have begun to reopen, the future is still uncertain for many members.  We have developed a Covid-19 emergency fund which is separate to the main fund.  This is available to those individuals who are experiencing difficulties due to the current situation.  It consists of one off grants to individuals and the process for application is quicker than through the main fund.  We hope that it will go some way to support our communities through these unprecedented times.