Difficult times? BDCI say ‘lean on us’

Difficult times? BDCI say ‘lean on us’

The Butchers and Drovers Charitable Institution (BDCI) have been providing vital financial support for members of the meat industry and their immediate families since 1828. Whether you are currently employed in the industry or used to work in the meat trade, if you live in the UK or Ireland and are experiencing financial difficulties through no fault of your own, the BDCI are there to help.

What kind of support can the BDCI give?

The BDCI will consider applications for a wide and varied range of purposes. Grants to help fund aids and adaptations to a home in cases of disability or life-changing events, replacing domestic appliances to make life easier, one-off cash support to help when people are in need, or even ongoing payments when a little extra support is needed.

The charity is also able to provide support for education in the form of financial bursaries for students pursuing meat traderelated studies and training.

Am I eligible?

All applications are considered on an individual basis. With the exception of educational bursaries, as a general rule to be eligible for financial support applicants should:

  • Have been connected to the trade for a reasonable length of time. For those who have left the trade this is considered as a minimum of 10 years within the preceding 20 years
  • Have spent much of their working life in the trade if now retired
  • If currently working in the meat industry be able to demonstrate that it is their prime occupation
  • Not otherwise have access to considerable liquid resources
    • Ownership of a house will not necessarily exclude an applicant. However, where the forecast value of that house (or the applicant’s equity in the house where a mortgage or other loan is secured against the property) is in excess of £350,000, they will not be eligible for assistance.
    • If the applicant has cash and/or liquid assets of more than £20,000, any grant will be limited to a maximum of £500.

How do I apply?

Applications are normally considered at the bi-monthly BDCI Grants Committee, but they are able to consider urgent applications at shorter notice. To apply for assistance, applicants must complete the required application form, and provide evidence of their connection to the meat trade as well as financial details, including any income they and their partner receive. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.

For more information or to download the BDCI Financial Assistance Application Form visit www.bdci.org.uk/financial-assistance/

Alternatively, for a confidential discussion about your specific needs, in the first instance contact NCB head office, who will put you in touch with the appropriate contact at the BDCI.

Richard Douglas’s story

National Craft Butchers Executive Councillor Richard Douglas knows only too well what it means to have the BDCI to turn to in the most desperate of times.

In 2010, when Richard’s wife had just found out she was pregnant with their second child, they received the devastating news that their three-year-old son Jake had a brain tumour. ‘Your world is gone in an instant’ says Richard.

At the time, Richard was the manager at M.Moen & Sons in Clapham, south London, a well-known craft butcher’s shop.

After several harrowing months, during which Jake had to undergo a number of surgeries, the neurosurgeons decided that his best chance was to try Proton Beam Radiotherapy, a newly developed treatment available only in Florida.

Of course Richard didn’t hesitate. Soon after he left his job and took his family to America for Jake’s three-month course of treatment.

With a seriously ill child, no income, and the financial strain of the forthcoming trip, Richard says, ‘We were prepared to sell the house if need be to ensure we could all be together for Jake.’

Luckily, they didn’t need to. Richard’s previous employer, Godfreys, advised him to apply for help from butchers charity, the BDCI. Shortly after applying, which Richard says was thankfully very straightforward, the BDCI granted a one-off payment of £5,000 to support Richard and his family with the essential expenses of the trip.

Although the tumour cost Jake his sight, the pioneering treatment saved his life. He is now a thriving sixteen year old, sitting his GCSEs at New College Worcester, a residential school for young people who are blind or vision impaired.

Understandably, Richard and his family are very grateful for the help they received. Acknowledging that there may come a time in the future that Jake needs their support again, Richard says, ‘It’s reassuring to know that the BDCI are there’.

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