Imagine having neck pain so bad you have to take a 20-minute break every quarter of an hour of your working day. Even aside from the chronic pain, just think how frustrating that would be, how much it would limit your potential and what it might do to your mental health.
That was the reality for ‘Molly’ (not her real name), a London-based corporate health and safety consultant who was trapped by the fact her condition wouldn’t allow her to do enough work to earn the money she needed to invest in the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) that could free her up to work for longer.
Thankfully, she applied to the IOSH Benevolent Fund and was granted her request within a month, so she got the DSE she needed. This has made the world of difference to Molly.
Her story is just one example of how the Benevolent Fund has made a difference to people’s lives. Then there’s the story of ‘Sally’ (again, not her real name), a 35-year-old health and safety student who was struggling to pay her rent after leaving her Jamaican home to study in northern.
Since it was formed, nearly 20 years ago, the IOSH Benevolent Fund has invested over £32,000 in more than 60 members who have found themselves going through a particularly tough time.
There are so many ways in which the Fund can help. Someone might need support to change their career direction after a prolonged period of ill-health, for example; perhaps redundancy and extended unemployment has left an IOSH member needing a laptop and printer to help drive their job search; or the partner of a former IOSH member might welcome some help with their funeral costs. The Fund can be there to give support in all sorts of circumstances.
“Of course, the Fund wouldn’t be able to do a great deal without its donors,” says IOSH Chief Executive Bev Messinger.
“IOSH and all its members who have benefited from the Fund over the past 20 years are extremely thankful for the continued support of donors. Indeed, all our 47,000 members in over 130 countries will be grateful to them because none of us can ever be sure when we might face personal hardship and serious difficulty, through no fault of our own,” she added.
“Thank goodness for initiatives like the IOSH Benevolent Fund. As a current or former member, or past member of IOSH staff, it’s there for you. If you need to use it, make sure you do so.”