Benevolent Fund

CILEx Benevolent Fund supports student members through COVID-19

The Trustees of the CILEx Benevolent Fund have recently supported several members, who -due to COVID-19 - would otherwise have been unable to sit exams they had worked hard to prepare for.

Historically, the charity’s aims did not extend to the financial support of academic courses, however when informed of the financial hardship faced by several student members who were unable to access IT provisions to complete September’s online exams, they were eager to offer their support.

CILEx Charity Support Officer, Dominique Edell, explains the process:

After we posted on CILEx social media, we had an increase in members asking about the support available from the CILEx Benevolent Fund. These members accessed the application form found on the MyCILEx page. Once this was completed and returned to us – with any supporting evidence – the claim was checked for eligibility and independently assessed. Trustees then convene regularly, to decide on whether the grant is approved. Payments were made to members to allow them to choose a device that met their individual study needs. 

Whilst not strictly speaking a ‘crisis’ grant (the whole process can take up to 45 days) we worked hard with CILEx teams to expedite the process ahead of September’s exams. This included exploring alternative payment methods, including providing members with e-vouchers for major retailers so that items could be purchased and delivered direct to the member – a safe solution in times of social distancing”.

As well as supporting student members, the fund is designed to help members who are experiencing financial hardship. This can be by grant making during periods of hardship, signposting to state benefit eligibility assessments and debt management services. In the coming months, the charity, which will merge to become The CILEx Foundation will expand its charity work to include additional funding opportunities and support for learners.

Are you suffering from financial uncertainty due to COVID-19? If you are experiencing financial hardship and would like to make an application for a grant, please do so as soon as possible to ensure your claim is assessed in good time.

Benevolent Fund coronavirus message - April 2020

Are you being financially affected by the coronavirus crisis?

If you find yourself in financial difficulties because of circumstances brought about by the coronavirus crisis, CILEx Benevolent Fund may be able to help.

The Fund exists specifically to provide help to people who are current members, or were former members of CILEx for a minimum of one year, or their dependants.

Its remit means that it can provide a range of assistance that might be relevant to you at this point in time - for example, to provide financial help to cover unexpected or unusual bills, utility bills or the purchase of something to help ease a disability. 

The Benevolent Fund also provides a one-to-one resource that delivers help and guidance on state benefits – including the Government’s latest measures to tackle the crisis - and advice on other financial matters such as debt consolidation. 

In cases where financial funding is granted, the amount will normally be a one-off payment. To find out more, including how to apply to the Fund, please read the information below where more detailed guidance is available.

Please note that the Trustees of the Fund are not able to consider applications for assistance with membership fees, student course fees or the costs of joining CILEx. If you are struggling with these costs, please e-mail the CILEx customer services team at

CILEx Benevolent Fund

The CILEx Benevolent Fund (“The Fund”) is a registered charity under The Charities Act, 1960. No. 295527.

The Fund’s vision is to provide access to relevant guidance, information and support to CILEx members in England and Wales, who find themselves in an unavoidable financial hardship.

Who Donates to the Fund?

The Fund relies on donations from CILEx members and branches as well as other public bodies. As a result, the total amount contained in the Fund can vary and is limited. Applicants should keep this in mind when applying to the Fund, which should be viewed as a ‘last resort’.

"I wanted to thank The Fund for all the support and assistance given to me during this very difficult time of my life. You have really helped to relieve some of the financial burden for a while."

Who Are the Trustees?

The Trustees of The Fund are:

Paul Clark, Lay Trustee 
Simon Wells, Lay Trustee (Chairperson)

Linda Ford (CILEx CEO)

All decisions regarding applications to the Fund are entirely at the Trustees’ discretion.

What Type of Assistance Does the Fund Provide?


The Fund can provide a range of assistance, for example, to provide financial help to cover unexpected or unusual bills, utility bills or the purchase of something to help ease a disability. The Trustees can also provide guidance on State benefits and other resources available for those who need financial advice such as debt consolidation. In cases where financial funding is granted, the amount will normally be a small one-off payment. When considering whether financial assistance can be given, the Fund’s Trustees expect applicants to have availed themselves of any State benefits to which they may be entitled. The Trustees will normally draw attention to such benefits if this does not seem to have been done.

"The Fund recently made a very generous donation towards the cost of converting my bathroom. I would like to thank you for your generosity. I suffer from cerebral palsy and have been having trouble climbing into the bath. I now have a level access shower which has already made a big difference to my life. Without your donation it would not have been possible."

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply to the Fund, applicants must be a current or former member of CILEx or a dependant of a current or former member of CILEx. Applicants must also have been a member of CILEx for a minimum of one year before applying.

The Trustees are not able to consider applications for assistance with membership fees; student course fees; the costs of joining CILEx; discharge of outstanding judgements; HMRC tax bills; IVA's or bankruptcy.

Benefits and other Government Help

We have produced a page of useful links which will provide a wealth of information on government and financial assistance programmes.

How Do I Apply?

Before completing the application form, applicants are asked to review the Guide. All applicants must complete a CILEx Benevolent Fund Application.

How Can I Help?

To discuss making a regular or one-off donation to the CILEx Benevolent Fund, or to discuss fundraising opportunities, please contact Membership Services who will direct you to the Charity Office.