The ICE’s Benevolent Fund has issued a plea for more ICE members to donate £5 a year after the number of donors dropped dramatically over the past year.
The number of members donating to the fund dropped by 6,500 to 37,500 between 2008 and 2009.
Despite this, the number of individuals requiring financial help has sharply increased. The Fund is now eating into reserves to support those seeking help.
“We have seen a 60% increase in the number of people coming to us for assistance. In 2009, 82% of these individuals were of working age.
The role of the Benevolent Fund has therefore never been so important,” said Benevolent Fund chief executive Kris Barnett.
“However we cannot continue to dip into reserves to support those seeking help. The donor numbers have been slowly decreasing since 2006, but the more significant drop from 2008-2009 is very worrying.”
In 2009, the suggested voluntary donation to the Fund increased from £3 to £5 per year.
“It only equates to £200 over a forty year working life - and we ask for significantly less than other funds in the sector,” said Barnett.
“We do, however, fully appreciate that the rise came at a time when the economic climate was proving tough for many members.”
The ICE Benevolent Fund provides advice, support and financial assistance to current or past ICE members. The charity also helps dependants of members.