Tuesday / 11 April / 2017
Message from Jill Palmer – Chairman, Journalists’ Charity
I am proud and delighted to have been elected Chairman of the Journalists’ Charity, a post I took over in January.
We continue to provide grants and other financial assistance in the region of £350,000 a year. We offer care in our nursing home, Pickering House, and homes in our sheltered accommodation, Ribblesdale.
But without our supporters we cannot do any of this.
I have been a journalist all my life, starting on a weekly paper, the Stratford Express in the East End of London when I was 17 followed by eight years on the London Evening Standard and 27 years on the Daily Mirror.
Yet despite knowing about and giving money to the Charity, which I originally knew as the Newspaper Press Fund, I did not realise the full extent of the help it provides to journalists until I became a Trustee.
As I am sure you are all aware the trustees work tirelessly in their own time and without reward to strive to ensure that the Charity is operating effectively and efficiently for the benefit of journalists and their dependants across the UK and Ireland.
We are acutely aware of the variety of challenges that we currently face. Interest rates have never been lower, dividend payments never poorer and so we earn less on our investments. It is becoming increasingly difficult to raise money. At the same time the care industry is going through a very tough time.
While job cuts, the scarcity of freelance work and changes to the benefits system mean more and more people are turning to us for help.
Which is why we asked Colliers International to carry out a strategic review of the Charity and recommend ways to help us secure a viable future. This is ongoing and is taking time to complete. We are having to make difficult decisions. But our paramount concern is the wellbeing of our beneficiaries.
Everything we do depends on the generosity of our supporters who can help us make huge differences to the lives of those in distress through ill-health, the break-up of a relationship, redundancy or plain bad luck.