THE BENEVOLENT Fund annual report has reported a rise in the average grant awarded.
Out of a total of £323,279 paid in 1997, the average grant awarded per case has increased from £1,999 in 1996 to £2,777 in 1997.
A total of 142 cases were assisted in various ways in 1997. Across the world, 258 individuals were helped last year.
'Over the past five years, the number of cases assisted has decreased although the total number of individuals helped remains high. This indicates that the fund is continuing to support an increasing number of families with young, dependent children,' the report stated.
People helped included the bereaved wife of a member living in West Africa, who died of cancer, leaving her to support their two children. The fund supplemented her small income. 'May God continue to uphold the ICE in their love and care for the less privileged members and their relations,' she said.
The medical condition of one ICE member's wife deteriorated to such an extent that he took early retirement in order to look after her. The drop in his income and the loss of her salary meant that they
had to sell their home. They were offered a house with a stair lift on the fund's estate at Haywards Heath.