British industry charities that offer practical and financial help
Benevolent funds are charities that can help people during bad times, for example illness or unemployment. Some are regional, but many are aimed at people who work (or have worked) in a particular industry, for example merchant shipping (pictured). Partners and children can usually get help too.
Sometimes you will need to have worked in an industry for a few years to access help. You don’t always need to work in an industry directly. For example, if you are in a call centre for an insurance company, you could try an insurance benevolent fund.
The type and amount of help can vary, but it might include advice, practical help or grants for items like furniture, computers or living costs.
Some benevolent funds help in other ways, such as paying for education or offering coaching or career development. Some even run retirement homes. See the websites for more details.
The Turn2Us website has a very useful way to search for grants.
List of general benevolent funds
- Horticulture: Perennial
- Home improvement and garden products manufacture, wholesale or retail. Also tradespeople (for example builders, electricians, plumbers or carpenters): Rainy Day Trust
- Construction industry: Lighthouse Club or BC&E Charitable Trust
- Footwear trade: Footwear Friends
- Furniture and furnishings: The Furniture Makers’ Company
- Retail industry (for example, shop assistants, shop owners or people working in manufacture or distribution): Retail Trust
- Business-to-business sales: The Salespeople’s Charity
- Vets, vet students and nurses: Vetlife
- Women on very low incomes: Smallwood Trust
- Retired people or people with long-term illness or disability: NatBen
- Professionals and graduates: Professionals Aid Guild
- Families with a seriously ill or disabled child: Family Fund
Transport & travel
- Public transport: The Public Transport Benevolent Fund
- Travel sector workers: ABTA Lifeline
- Caravan industry: NCC Benevolent Fund
- For members of the Road Haulage Association: RHA Benevolent Fund
- People working in railway stations and on the railways: Railway Benefit Fund
Food, drink & farming
- Grocery industry – from big factories to the small shops: GroceryAid
- Branded alcoholic drinks industry: The Benevolent
- Farmers and farm workers: RABI
- Meat industry: Butchers’ and Drovers’ Charitable Institution
Hospitality, catering, pubs
- People who work in pubs or who own pubs: Licensed Trade Charity.
- Workers in Scottish bars, breweries and pubs: Scottish Licensed Trade charity
- For people who make food (for example in care homes) or who work in places that sell food (for example hotels, cafes and sandwich shops): Hospitality Action
Fishing & marine
- Merchant seafarers and fishermen: Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society
- Marine industry: Institute of Marine Science and Technology Guild of Benevolence
Creative & communications
- Professional musicians: Help Musicians UK
- Dance (professional dancers, teachers and choreographers): Dance Professionals Fund
- Journalists: Journalists’ Charity
- Film and TV: The Film & Television Charity
- Writers: Royal Literary Fund
- Actors: Actors Benevolent Fund
- Entertainment industry professionals: The Royal Variety Charity
- Advertising and media: NABS
- Artists: The Eaton Fund
- People in giftware, jewellery, surface engineering, travel goods and fashion accessories: BATF Benevolent Society
- For people working in UK-based market research: Market Research Benevolent Association
- Publishing, packaging and graphic arts: the Printing Charity
- Newspaper and magazine distribution: Newstraid
Public sector & care
- Workers in central government departments – this includes (for example), prison staff, border officials and admin staff: The Charity for Civil Servants.
- Teachers and school workers (including teaching assistants, nursery workers, caretakers and lunch supervisors): Teaching Staff Trust
- Police: There are many police charities, the Police Charities website has a full list.
- Ambulance service: The Ambulance Staff Charity
- Doctors and medical students: Royal Medical Benevolent Fund
- Care workers: The Care Workers Charity