Back to news

The Ben Fund has never been as important as it is right now

Rachel Skinner, ICE President and Ben Fund Patron talks about the Ben Fund's critical role in supporting civil engineers during this year’s AGM.
AGM 2021 Gallery View

For the second consecutive year, Colin Hillary, Chairman of the ICE Benevolent Fund began proceedings for the Annual General Meeting online. With more than 50 Ben Fund members present, Rachel Skinner observed that although it was a shame we couldn’t meet in person, the silver lining is that we can bring together a bigger group of people.  


Rachel began by highlighting the impressive work that she has seen the Ben Fund doing over a number of years to support members who find themselves in difficult and unexpected circumstances.  


Rachel recalls ‘I remember finding out about the Ben Fund when I first joined the ICE and learning more over the years as I went through chartership and fellowship... To see the quiet work done by such a dedicated group over such a long time is so impressive. It really does shine out as a great example of ‘the right thing to do’.  


She continued 'We do have the ability to make real changes to people’s quality of life through all of you and indeed, many others beyond, which is brilliant. We mustn’t forget the importance of all our interactions with members when they do find themselves in need. Those moments do really matter. The moment when people go out of their way to give up their time, to think about ‘what could I do to help this person?’, and then to offer some tangible support is absolutely crucial’. 

Thank you all of you, for everything you’re doing
Rachel Skinner, ICE President and ICE Benevolent Fund Patron

At the start of her Presidential year, Rachel talked about her ‘Shaping Zero’ theme and took the opportunity to update Ben Fund members on the progress made, identifying parallels between the wellbeing work of the Ben Fund and our future wellbeing and quality of life.  


Following her update, Rachel had the pleasure of marking the CEOKris  Barnett’s 20 years of service.  

Trustees old and new would like to mark the occasion

Rachel commented on the hard work and dedication demonstrated by Kris throughout the years, highlighting the successes that the Ben Fund have experienced across two decades with Kris at the helm. 


Lindsay Howell, Head of Casework and Services at the Ben Fund took the opportunity to present Kris with a piece of jewellery on behalf of Ben Fund Trustees, both past and present.  

AGM Gift Giving
It’s been an absolute privilege. I’ve enjoyed every single minute of working here
Kris Barnett, ICE Benevolent Fund CEO

Kris commented that she had enjoyed working with various Trustee boards, crediting the team around her and extended her gratitude to the many visitors who help facilitate the Ben Fund’s work.  


Following the celebrations, Ben Fund members were updated on the work of the Trustee board for 2020.

2020 was our busiest year on record with more members seeking support across our wide range of services
Colin Hillary, ICE Benevolent Fund Chairman

Colin made reference to the agility of the staff team during the pandemic, praising the array of extra services provided during the UK’s series of lockdowns.  He went on to summarise investment information and benevolence spend throughout 2020. Colin was pleased to report that the Ben Fund has been weathering the storms of Covid-19 and Brexit with remarkable resilience. 


New Trustees were appointed, with five candidates standing for election. The successful candidates were: Hooi LeePhil Hardy-Bishop and Jason Hyde. The Ben Fund look forward to working with the three incoming Trustees soon. 

2022 New Trustees

To conclude the AGM, Lindsay thanked Ben Fund visitors for their support, highlighting how helpful virtual visits had been over the last year.