The ICE Benevolent Fund, the charity that provides support and development opportunities for institution members and their families, marked its 150th anniversary last week with a special gala dinner for 250 supporters of the charity at ICE’s One Great George Street headquarters.
It also unveiled its new brand, website and a suite of new services designed to reach out and connect with civil engineers all over the world.
These include services focused on providing support in times of crisis - such as counselling, debt management and financial assistance - and services focusing on the personal development of ICE members such as financial planning, pre-retirement and resilience workshops and a “back to work” support scheme for unemployed civil engineers.
A new online work/life wellbeing portal, available in multiple languages, has also been launched - providing a fast, convenient and confidential way to access both the support available, and the personal development opportunities on offer to help ICE members reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives and careers.
Established in 1864 to “afford assistance to necessitous persons”, the last 150 years has seen over 30,000 ICE members and their families benefit from Benevolent Fund support, whether through advice and guidance, financial assistance or housing.
Benevolent Fund chief executive Kris Barnett said: “With roots that go back to Victorian times in helping widows and orphans of ICE members, the fund has adapted and evolved over the years and today it proves more valuable than ever.
“Looking back at the last 150 years, I am proud that the Fund has been able to give back to so many of those who quietly contribute so much to society - over 30,000 ICE members and their families.
“However, this anniversary also provides us with an opportunity to launch it into the next 150 years, with a new suite of services designed to reach out and support even more of our members.”
ICE President Geoff French, who hosted the gala dinner, added: “We all know prevention is far better than cure,and I am pleased to see this excellent new programme of preventative support to help ICE members tackle potential issues before they become a problem - in addition to the ongoing essential work to help those in urgent need.”
French also paid tribute to the Fund’s volunteers, trustees and visitors: “The work you all do in visiting, reassuring, advising, mentoring and befriending beneficiaries at first hand is invaluable - showing the real human face of the Benevolent Fund and demonstrating the care and commitment to improving lives.”
French was joined by celebrity speaker Helen Lederer, a comedienne and broadcaster. Lederer’s father was an ICE Fellow.
- Visit the ICE Benevolent Fund’s new website: www.icebenfund.com. You can also follow the Fund on Twitter @ICEBenfund or find more information about the history of the charity on Facebook - www.facebook.com/icebenfund