Benevolent Fund - Who We Are
The Benevolent Fund is a Confidential Support Network for former pupils of Sacred Heart Schools in Ireland (Armagh, Leeson St, Mount Anville, Monkstown and Roscrea). Each year we help around 30 – 40 past pupils in need. In recent years this means distributing funds and support to the value of €80,000 per annum. Beneficiaries range from 18 to 80+ years of age.
The Fund which has Charitable Status is run by a committee of former pupils and always includes a member of the Society who at present is Sister Gillian Dempsey rscj.
What support do you offer?
Some ways we have supported past pupils include:
support with continuing education,
assistance with accommodation difficulties,
practical help for families after business failure,
a helping hand for past pupils struggling to rear children alone,
caring for elderly Sacred Heart past pupils on fixed incomes and no family support
Where does the money come from?
We run a number of fundraising events throughout the year, and we are very grateful to all those who support us. Some events are annual, and some are once-off. Fundraisers have included
Speakers/Themed talks (Authors night, Christmas wreath-making, decluttering),
Young past table quiz.
More recently we have received several bequests which have made a huge difference. Traditionally proceeds from the raffle at the Mount Anville debs dance have been donated to us, and class reunions over the years have also been very generous.
Every penny raised goes to someone in need, we have no overheads. Our social workers, legal advisers and committee members give their time for free.
We are a registered charity, and our accounts are prepared by an independent firm of Chartered Accountants.
How can I help?
There are lots of ways you can help. You can
Attend an event
Hold an event
Make a donation
Donate a prize for a raffle
Leave us a bequest in your will
Make a donation “in kind”
Refer someone to us if you know they need support
What is a donation “in kind”?
Perhaps you have a skill that could be of use to a past pupil in need, or that can help us to help reduce their financial burden. You can volunteer to be called on should the need arise, and maybe donate your skill or offer it at reduced cost. This might be medical, social, or personal. Sometimes if someone is in deep distress, something like a haircut or a new outfit is an unimaginable treat, or a trip to the dentist is postponed for years to cover a more immediate need. You may never even be called on, but if we know you are willing to help, it can make a big difference.
Examples of donations of skills or “in kind” include:
Donating a prize for a raffle
Anyone who attended any of the named Sacred Heart schools above can seek support. You may have attended the primary or junior schools only, and do not have to have completed your education with the Sacred Heart to be considered.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t want people to know my situation
If you find yourself or a friend in crisis or distress, you can reach out to us yourself, or someone can reach out on your behalf. All help provided is as confidential as possible. Typically a “link person” will be assigned, who will liaise with the committee on your behalf and keep in touch with you occasionally to see what supports you need. This person and the rscj member (Sr. Dempsey) are the only people who will know who you are.
All help is otherwise given anonymously.