BDA Ben Fund AGM passes off peacefully

BDA Ben Fund AGM passes off peacefully

The Annual General Meeting of the BDA Benevolent Fund was held on September 18th, under the chairmanship of its Patron and BDA President, Susie Sanderson. In August, PEC chair, Mick Armstrong, had urged members to oppose proposals that risked ‘taking the Fund away from its democratic roots.’ However, they were withdrawn before the meeting and not therefore debated.

Following a meeting earlier this month between members of the PEC and the Fund, a joint statement was issued from Eddie Crouch, BDA Vice Chair, and Professor Ros Keeton Chair, BDA Benevolent Fund which said: "We are delighted to report there is a shared commitment to work together with common ground reached regarding the changes to the charity’s membership, board size and administrative processes.”

At the AGM Ros Keeton explained that the Fund was subject to the Charity Commission and had to keep up to date with its rules, which had not been comprehensively revised since the 1980s. Some changes were now necessary, but they would be fully discussed with the BDA before being brought forward at a future meeting.

The annual report of the Fund, distributed at the meeting, showed that last year it received requests from 24 new applicants, in addition to the regular grants it gives out to beneficiaries on a monthly basis. Throughout the year 15 dentists and their families were helped to become financially independent. Over £150,734 was given in grants and £3,015 in interest free personal loans. Most applicants were of working age with an average age of 41, the youngest being 26 and the oldest 65.

At the close of the meeting, retiring vice-chairman, Dr Bill Nichols, was appointed a vice-president.

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