By Jenifer Stirton, iprovision Trustee,
This month we once again had ‘Blue Monday’ the so-called day in January claimed to be the most depressing day of the year – which incidentally got its name from a PR campaign for Sky Travel. The thinking was that if you were gloomy you were more likely to book a holiday in the sun.
January also saw the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) launching their campaign “One Day Changes Lives” to highlight that in any one day their members are doing just that by supporting people who face different crises or difficulties.
The CIPR benevolent fund, iprovision, is a member of ACO and we have been supporting the PR campaign on Twitter and LinkedIn by sharing some stories of how iprovision has changed the lives of CIPR members in times of real need or hardship.
Over the last year, UK charities like iprovision have handed out an estimated £216m in grants and financial support to over half a million people. And charities are seeing an increase in applications for support driven by stressful working lives, cuts to benefits, changes in living standards or a single adverse event such as an illness or unemployment – all of which can be devastating in terms of financial pressures, and supporting a family.
In the past 12 months, iprovision has provided more support to members than before. And for the first time the financial support provided has outstripped the funds we received in the same period. Evidence, if needed, that more people are seeking help they cannot get elsewhere.
So, while we are not about to run out of money – we have our capital wisely invested – it is clear that more CIPR members need our support and financial help than ever before.
Although we are here to support present and past members and their families, we are independent from the CIPR and do not receive any funding from them other than the contribution from those members who opt to donate £10 as part of their CIPR subscription renewal. Other funding comes through donations from individuals and the CIPR groups. And, indeed, some CIPR Groups have traditionally been very supportive.
The Scotland Group has regularly supported iprovision for over ten years through the raffle at their PRide awards raising in total over £10,000. They see this as an investment for the future to support members who have nowhere else to turn.
More recently, other groups have raised funds at their own Pride Awards or in the case of Greater London Group a pub quiz. And of course the Casino at the Excellence Awards has been a great fundraiser.
But we need more donations now as more of our members ask for help through difficult times. I hope the “One Day Changes Lives” campaign will highlight the difference our support can mean to a member and their family and others will be encouraged to sign up for the annual £10 donation to iprovision as part of their CIPR membership renewal.
You can find out more about our work and how to support iprovision here.