Access to Trustees and Appeals

The Trustees have absolute discretion over the granting of benefits.

It is the policy of the Trustees to delegate responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the Charity to its managers including the Secretary and the Chief Executive Officer, subject to the rules and policies of the Charity, the provisions of the law and agreed reporting arrangements. It is not expected that routine matters will be referred to the Trustees.

To aid the effective operation of the Charity, staff are engaged who determine what action to take in respect of applications for assistance or other matters, taking into account the Charity’s rules and policies and the law. The Chief Executive Officer is accountable for each decision, but these are not final.

Occasions will arise where a member or dependant believes the decision taken in the name of the Chief Executive Officer to be inappropriate. In such cases the Secretary will review the decision with an open mind in accordance with the rules, policies and law and modify it if necessary. The Secretary will ensure that, in reviewing the decision, nothing is done that could be interpreted as conveying to any person a right to benefit.

If the Secretary or the Chief Executive Officer believe there are factors that need to be examined by the Trustees, they will advise them of the facts and seek their decision. They will normally recommend a course of action. It may not be appropriate to await a formal meeting, and the matter may be dealt with in advance of a meeting by means approved by the Trustees.

If the member or dependant indicates to the Secretary that they are not happy with the result of their review, they will be advised impartially by them whether an appeal to the Trustees would be to any possible effect. In giving this advice, the Secretary will bear in mind that their role is to implement the decisions of the Trustees and to ensure they are kept abreast of issues which need their attention. At the same time the Trustees should not be expected to examine day-to-day issues or continually review policy.

Where the Secretary believes that the matter should be considered by the Trustees they will present the facts impartially to them (or to a sub-committee to whom they delegate their decisions, but for these purposes not to any member of the paid staff), explain their decision and implement whatever decision is reached by the Trustees.

Where the Secretary seeks to deny consideration of the matter by the Trustees they will explain their reasons to the member or dependant. If the member or dependant seeks to insist on a further appeal, the Secretary will discuss the matter with the Chair or Vice-Chair, whose decision on behalf of the Trustees shall be final.

There is no right to appeal against a decision taken under the previous two paragraphs.

Aggrieved members and dependants will not be expected to appear before the Trustees in person to present their cases, but the Secretary will normally make themselves available to meet them.

Where the member or dependant indicates dissatisfaction with the final decision, they will be reminded that all help is at the discretion of the Trustees and that the request has been considered in accordance with the policies and rules of the Charity, with the law and taking account of the resources available. If the member or dependant indicates an intention to damage the good name of the Charity in any way, they will be advised that - while all matters between the Charity and its members/dependants are conducted in confidence – TBF cannot allow its reputation to be damaged when it has given proper consideration to the request. They will be advised that TBF will defend its reputation in public without divulging full details of the request.

"The Benevolent Fund is a wonderful Charity that comes to the aid of those in difficult circumstances".
TBF member who has been off work for 8 months following a heart by-pass operation