The WRNS Benevolent Trust is a small Charity. We have no caseworkers of our own and therefore work mainly with the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), and their caseworkers call on any applicant on our behalf. They are discreet and knowledgeable, and can give friendly support and advice on a wide variety of matters. They complete a report, which is then put before our Grants Committee for consideration.
All applications are treated with strict confidentiality and there is no need for anyone to know other than the case working organisation, ourselves and of course the people directly concerned. Even the Grants Committee who consider each case are not given names or addresses, only a case number and the relevant details required in order to reach a decision.
Members of the Grants Committee (including those now serving in the RN) are all former Wrens, and give their time and assistance voluntarily. Although the RBL and SSAFA are our main source for caseworkers we do sometimes use other organisations.
Members may apply to us for help direct or a relation or friend does so on their behalf. With the member’s consent we then contact the appropriate organisation in his or her area and arrange for caseworker to visit.
Regular Charitable Payments
- General Amenity Grants – These grants help with day-to-day living expenses, e.g. the payment of bills, clothing or perhaps household goods otherwise unaffordable and are paid half yearly or annually. If the applicant has children of school age or below living with them, there is an additional grant that may be awarded as a Christmas Gift for each eligible child.
- Care Enhancement Grant – Weekly assistance for beneficiaries of state pensionable age, paid quarterly. Small grants are given towards the cost of permanent or temporary care in either a care home or their own home, or to supplement the State’s Personal Expenses Allowance.
- Overseas Grant – A set weekly allowance for beneficiaries of state pensionable age who live overseas, paid quarterly. Many of the recipients are solely dependent on this allowance from the Trust.
- Weekly Maintenance Grant – A set weekly allowance for beneficiaries of state pension age, paid quarterly. It can make a huge difference to someone who is finding it difficult to make ends meet, or help to pay for a few little extras otherwise unaffordable.
- Weekly Support Supplement – A set weekly allowance awarded to beneficiaries below state pensionable age, paid quarterly. This grant provides a much needed boost to applicants who are too young to qualify for Pension Credit, and yet too old to find employment easily, or too infirm to do so.
All Regular Charitable Payments are reviewed on an annual basis, which means we are kept informed of the individual’s welfare and can reassess needs as required.
One Off Grants
The types of demand can be extremely varied. The main areas of current expenditure are categorised as below, but there is no set parameter and each and every request is taken on its own merit.
- Debts (Priority) and Arrears – Help may be given in this area in the hope that it will assist the applicant to recover their financial situation. It is always recommended that advice be sought from organisations such as the CAB Debt Counselling Service and StepChange.
- Education – This is normally in the form of help with training courses, study costs, computers, books etc. for former Wrens who are mature students.
- Funeral Expenses – We help with certain costs once eligibility for the Social Fund Funeral Payment has been investigated. It may be to help one of our eligible beneficiaries with the cost of a husband’s funeral or perhaps the cost of our beneficiary’s funeral when the husband or family do not have the means to pay.
- Household Goods and Repairs – Household goods can include help with the purchase of white goods, furniture, floor coverings, redecoration etc. Repairs may include structural needs or boiler/heating replacement, but payments from the appropriate authorities are always investigated first.
- Medical Aids – With a high percentage of current beneficiaries being of pensionable age, demand for medical aids such as stair lifts and electric powered vehicles continues. We believe that swift assistance should be given to those with disabilities where special equipment is required. In many cases, we provide funding where there would otherwise be a long and unacceptable wait for statutory funding to which the individual is otherwise entitled.
- Removal and Travel Expenses – We may assist people relocating to an area where family will support them. Travel costs may be given to help our beneficiaries visit their family when they are in hospital, or in other care. Occasionally, we help with expenses when the use of a car is crucial to the applicant’s day-to-day life.
- Rent and Deposits – Awards may be given towards a deposit or advance rent.