Smiths News operates in a fantastic industry with some great people. Why not support your colleagues and volunteer for the industry’s charity NewstrAid?
The NewstrAid Benevolent Fund, affectionately known as ‘Old Ben’, is a charity that is over 170 years old, and whose founders in 1839 included among others, the writer and social activist Charles Dickens.
NewstrAid exists to support people, and their immediate dependents, who have worked in the news trade but have fallen on hard times. Friends of ‘Old Ben’ can volunteer to become
Almoners, visiting colleagues in difficulty and making sure they have all the material and
emotional support they need to get through tough circumstances.
“Our Almoners are our eyes and ears, and they are the key point of contact between the charity and the beneficiary. Smiths News plays a vital role in the great work we do across the UK as 16% of our Almoners have worked for, or are still working for, the company.”
In 2012 Dispatches featured the tragic story of Smiths News Warehouse Operative Lee Bowden from the Stockport News Depot, whose wife Debbie died unexpectedly at the age of 39 leaving him to look after their two young children. With the help of an emergency hardship grant from NewstrAid, and support from Almoner Keith Foster, Stockport depot, Lee is eventually beginning to rebuild his life. He said:
“I have the utmost respect and thanks for what NewstrAid have done to help people like me who have worked in the news industry and encountered difficult times. They have helped me overcome one of the most difficult times in my life, and for that I am eternally grateful.”