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Analysis

Spread the word

12 October, 2010

Spread the word

Kath Jones asks for help raising the profile of a ‘little-known RCM fund’ designed to assist midwives in need.

Kath Jones asks for help raising the profile of a ‘little-known RCM fund’ designed to assist midwives in need.


Midwives magazine: October/November 2010



Some of you will know me as deputy chair of the Council of the RCM Trust, as a member of two other Council committees or as chair of the Benevolent Fund of the RCM Trust. It is with this latter hat on that I decided to put pen to paper in an attempt to spread the word about the existence of this charitable fund for midwives.

I was partly prompted by a letter we received from one of our branches, enclosing a donation. In her letter, the writer referred to the Benevolent Fund as ‘this little-known fund’, which set me thinking. While I believe the existence of the fund is well known in the RCM, among our regional officers, stewards and heads of midwifery, for example, perhaps that is where knowledge of its existence ends.

It’s also possible that many of you may not realise that the fund is open to all midwives, not just RCM members, although preference is given to members. At the moment, the fund receives approximately 50 applications every year and we are able to help virtually all of these cases, so long as they meet the fund’s essential criteria, the most obvious of which is that the individual claiming assistance is, or has been, a registered midwife, which means that retired midwives can also apply. The RCM is currently holding discussions on whether maternity support workers (MSWs) will be eligible to apply and a decision is expected shortly. 

The Benevolent Fund Committee, which has responsibility for administering the fund, has seven members, and the majority are elected from Council. One of the current goals of the committee, as I mentioned earlier, is to increase awareness of the fund’s existence and the assistance it can provide. By doing this, we hope to reach a greater number of midwives who could perhaps benefit from the fund, particularly in the present economic climate where there could be midwives suffering financial hardship who are unaware that help is available. 

As a committee, we work hard to ensure we are as well known as possible to other charitable organisations, and over the years we have worked closely with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, the British Legion, Citizens Advice Bureau and Care and Repair teams to help struggling midwives across the UK. Details of the Benevolent Fund can be found on the RCM website, including a downloadable application form. For specific advice, please Tel: 020 7312 3535, and ask to be put through to the administrator of the Fund.

In short, my request to you all is that you help spread the word throughout the profession to ensure we reach as many needy midwives as possible. 






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