CBF helps brothers and sisters and their families in the UK who are struggling financially. Outside the UK this role largely falls to CBM(W)
As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we learn to cope with most of the ups and downs of everyday life most of the time. However, sometimes things go badly wrong causing hardship and distress as well as affecting those we love. Often help can be found within the wider family circle or from our ecclesia, but when this is not enough CBF is there to help.
We can help if you’re struggling to make ends meet on a low income, or faced with a financial crisis because of unemployment, redundancy, sickness or an accident. We can also help fund nursing and residential care as well as respite care. We guarantee that all applications for help will be dealt with quickly and sympathetically and in strict confidence in conjunction with your Recording Brother.
Help with fuel and water bills
When money is short it’s hard not to cut back on necessities, such as fuel for heating and cooking, and water. But there’s really no need. We can make a grant of up to £300 towards your fuel bills and up to £200 to help with your water bill. These amounts are reviewed each year, and in 2014 we made grants of £24,000. Ask your Recording Brother for the application forms.
Help with holidays and respite care
A holiday can be a welcome break from everyday routine and help recharge the batteries, and a respite break can make a big difference for the elderly and infirm and those who care for them. We can help with a grant of up to £300 per person per week for a maximum of two weeks, and up to £200 per person towards the cost of travel. These amounts are reviewed each year, and in 2014 we made grants of £15,000. Ask your Recording Brother for the application form.
We also help UK Bible Schools to offer subsidised rates to those unable to afford the full cost. In 2014 we made grants of £15,000 for this purpose.
Help with nursing and residential care in Christadelphian Care Homes (CCH)
Funding the cost of going into care can be a major worry for you and your family when you become elderly or infirm, particularly as state and local authority funding become more difficult. However, when the time comes for nursing or residential care, and your family and ecclesia cannot make up any shortfall, we help fund the shortfall by making a quarterly grant direct to CCH. In 2014 this amounted to £111,000.
Help with the unexpected
Unexpected problems can arise, however, carefully you try to plan ahead, for example if you lose your job, or become ill, or have to deal with major one-off bills when something breaks down unexpectedly. We can help by making a grant or interest-free loan
Here are some examples of the one-off help we’ve given. They’re all anonymous and some minor changes have been made to protect their anonymity.
- A sister with long-term mental health problems had been receiving weekly counselling funded by her local authority, but this came abruptly to an end because of local government cuts. CBF funded the counselling sessions for a further year to enable the ecclesia to assess the best way of helping in the longer term.
- A brother and sister on low incomes with three young children had struggled to cope with rising living costs and had fallen into arrears of £2,500 with their mortgage, including a secured loan, and council tax. The ecclesia made a loan of £500 to be repaid when possible, plus a grant of £1,000, and CBF made a grant of the remaining £1,000.
- A brother and sister with two children accumulated credit card debts of £4,000, because the brother had to give up work to care for his seriously ill wife. They were in receipt of state benefits and had been helped financially by the ecclesia and family members. The ecclesia asked CBF to help because the mounting debt was causing further worries and health problems. CBF agreed a grant and an interest-free loan to clear the credit card debts.
In 2014 grants and loans for unexpected emergencies like this amounted to £17,000. Ask your Recording Brother to contact us with the details of the problem and we will deal with it sympathetically and in strict confidence.