THE ICE Benevolent Fund's annual report has recorded that 254 people benefited from over £300,000 of assistance in 1998.
Last year's beneficiaries of the fund to help ICE members and their families in times of need, included a member's wife with multiple sclerosis.
Benevolent Fund support helped towards making the family's house wheelchair- friendly and creating a special shower room. Extra space was created in the house to enable the ICE member to work from home and look after his wife at the same time.
A lifeline was also given to an ICE member whose infant son spent weeks recovering in a London hospital after life-saving surgery. The member needed accommodation for himself and his family to enable them to visit their son who went on to make an excellent recovery.
His wife wrote to the fund: 'It is hard to describe how the incredible burden we faced has been alleviated by the very generous actions of the fund. It is something I know we will always remember.'
The fund gained £581,000 in covenants and subscriptions last year compared with £647,000 in 1997. But the balance of the fund stood at £13,656,315 at the end of 1998 compared with £12,287,900 at the end of 1997.
ICE President Roger Sainsbury urged all members to support the fund. He said: 'Only when you are the one receiving help will you truly realise what a magnificent asset your Institution has in this fund. Please do not wait until you are sick, redundant or bereaved to discover this.'