iProvision: What is it?

By Pat Gaudin, former Chair of the trustees of iprovision

It’s sometimes surprising to hear CIPR members say “I’ve never heard of iprovision – what is it?!”   So, it’s great to have the opportunity to spread the word to the CIPR East Anglia group.

iprovision is the CIPR’s Benevolent Fund which was set up in 1965 by then IPR members to support colleagues facing hardship. Since that time, iprovision has supported over 500 CIPR members and their families who have hit hard times, often because of illness, disability, unemployment or bereavement, through for example:

  • grants to meet specific needs
  • help with respite care or care break costs
  • support and assistance.

There are a wide variety of ways that iprovision has helped, for example:

Diane, aged 45, is a single mum with two boys with special needs, who found herself struggling following the breakdown of her marriage, and lack of freelance work. When her boiler broke she had no-one to turn to until a friend recommended iprovision.

Diane said “iprovision has been an absolute lifesaver in a time of enormous turbulence in my family situation. Their support – both financial and pragmatic – enabled me to move forward more easily in what were extremely stressful times. I cannot thank them enough.”

Chris, aged 46, had been out of work for some time and was struggling to get interviews.  iprovision was able to provide employment help with a package consisting of 7.5 hours’ face-to-face time with a career coach to help identify strengths and weaknesses and put together a strategy for finding a job.  Chris said “My coach is really good and gets me thinking about new and different things so it is really helping!  The sessions keep me motivated and I can make plans with my coach for the time between sessions.” Chris is now getting interviews and hopes to be in work soon.

Heather, aged 59, has MS.  As her condition deteriorated she had to give up work and her income drastically reduced. A one off grant of £600 was given to make Heather’s home more suitable for her needs.   “Thank you for the fantastic news.  It was wonderful to wake up to your call this morning.   I am so very grateful to you and everyone who has made this possible.”

As a charity, iprovision is independent and provides a confidential service, and exists exclusively for CIPR members and past members in need and their dependants. It is however a CIPR member benefit and reference is made to iprovision in a number of CIPR documents including the membership welcome pack.

You should hear about iprovision at least once a year with your renewals letter! Every member is asked to pay the annual voluntary donation of £10 – and ideally to indicate willingness to Gift Aid.  Of course some of you may have your sub paid by your employer in which case you may wish to give separately.

iprovision has two core messages for CIPR members:

  1. To encourage you to donate in whatever way suits you best (CIPR members are the main source of income).
  2. To make sure, through you our members, that everyone knows how iprovision might assist if a current or past member hits hardship.

Without your help iprovision could not continue to provide vital support to PR professionals.

Last year we helped CIPR members through financial grants, mentoring and other practical assistance.  You can help by

  • donating £10 with your CIPR membership subscription
  • donating online with www.virginmoneygiving.com and enter “iprovision” as your chosen charity.

Every group is different and I would welcome any ideas that you have as to how we can make sure that iprovision is relevant to CIPR East Anglia.

iprovision has a special ‘helpline’ for any member in need.  The number is 0208 144 5536 – all calls are confidential. Who do you know who might benefit?

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