The BDCI exists to provide support for those who work, or have previously worked, in the meat industry, but have fallen on hard times, regardless of their age or circumstances. Applications for support are welcomed from anyone in the UK who has been connected in any way with the meat trade, as well as their widows/widowers or dependents.
However, the charity said many of those who are eligible for assistance are unaware of its existence. To tackle this problem, this year’s festival chairman, Bord Bía general manager Beatrice Blake, is calling on the meat industry to help spread the word to those who might benefit from the BDCI’s support.
She said: “Last year, the charity had a record-breaking fundraising year and we have a number of events lined up, including a cycle ride around the British Isles and, of course, the annual festival dinner, to ensure we continue to build on that.
“But our focus this year is on reaching out to potential beneficiaries to ensure they are aware of the support we can offer. After a trial period, we’ll be rolling out a new ‘Buddy Scheme’, aimed at identifying people working in meat plants who can act as BDCI representatives, ensuring that employees, as well as those who have retired from the business, know that they can ask for help if needed. We’d also like to call on anyone working in the industry to help spread the word and would urge people to get in touch if they know of someone who could benefit.”
The charity can provide a contribution towards pensions or fees in a residential or nursing home, but it can also provide one-off grants to help towards a major expense. Grant applications vary significantly and can come from people of all ages.
Examples of successful applications include:
• Neil, 38, working as a butcher in a Morrisons supermarket who received a contribution of £2,350 to pay for a specialised wheelchair for his disabled son;
• Rosemary, 56, whose late husband was a butcher and who needed £600 to re-wire her home after she smelt burning one night.
To apply for assistance, applicants must provide evidence of their connection with the meat trade as well as financial details, including any income they and their partner receive.
Further details and a copy of the application form can be found on the BDCI’s website: www.bdci.uk.com.