Meat industry charity to award bursaries amid change to organisation

Students will now be able to train for a career in the meat industry with a little helping hand, courtesy of the sector’s leading charity, the Butchers’ and Drovers’ Charitable Institution (BDCI).

The charity is preparing to offer two bursaries to the children or grandchildren of people connected to the meat industry. The bursaries will offer two students £5,000 a year towards their fees, for three to four years of study. The money is expected to cover around half the annual cost of college fees.

The move is part of the modernisation of the charity, which was founded in 1828, to allow it to meet the changing needs of the modern meat industry. The BDCI is in the process of changing its status to an incorporated body, a company limited by guarantee. Having received approval to change status from the Charity Commissioners on 3 April 2014, the process to transfer assets to the new BDCI Company is now well under way.

The change allows the charity to extend its operations and offer support and help to a wider number of beneficiaries than in the past. A major benefit of that is the removal of the requirement that beneficiaries must be over 60, or not working. In addition, the geographical boundaries have been widened to include potential beneficiaries in the Republic of Ireland.

The move has also allowed the BDCI to provide support for education, and the details are still being finalised. However, the annual awarding of two bursaries, with applicants having to demonstrate their merit for the award, would increase the charity’s annual expenditure by £30,000 a year.

BDCI honorary treasurer Ted Hoefling said: “Changing the status of the charity association is a lengthy, detailed, process, which has already taken many months. That’s because it’s more than just a change of status; it is the formation of a completely new entity, involving a transfer of the assets and liabilities of the old organisation, formed in 1828, to the new company.

“However, the ability to extend the potential pool of beneficiaries has made it well worth the effort. The removal of the ‘age or not working’ restriction is significant in an industry, with many younger members who may require financial support. In addition, the move to support education in the industry is a positive step. The format of the charity is now suitable for the 21st century, enabling the BDCI to maintain financial support to those who need it in today’s meat industry.”

The process has been managed by a committee of five individuals, the present trustees and directors of the new company. Additional trustees and directors will be appointed to the new company in due course.

It is expected that all aspects to move to the new organisation will be completed before the end of 2014. Most of the requirements will be completed earlier and grants are already being considered and awarded under the new extended regulations.

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