Benevolent Fund new logo

The British Council Benevolent Fund, known affectionately known as the Ben Fund, is a charity that provides emergency financial relief in times of hardship to current and former British Council staff and their loved ones. Here’s a bit more about how the Ben Fund works, who it helps and how you can support colleagues in need. 

Who the Ben Fund helps

The Benevolent Fund supports colleagues, past and present, and their immediate family members, in the UK and overseas, when they find themselves in unexpected financial difficulties.  

How the Ben Fund is funded and managed

The Ben Fund is solely funded by donations from colleagues, past and present, receives no direct financial contribution from the British Council and is run by volunteers.  

It is administered by a committee of eight trustees, who are all current British Council staff members, and a representative of the British Council Association. A colleague from Human Resources acts as the secretary and a colleague from Finance is the treasurer.   

The trustees act as a peer review board for all grant applications to the Ben Fund. Each application is carefully examined and discussed against our grant criteria, the circumstances of the case and the supporting documentation provided.   

How to get involved

There are several ways you can donate, depending on whether you are based in or outside of the UK:

  • A monthly deduction from your salary or pension
  • A one-off or regular donation through JustGiving
  • Bequests and legacies

If you’re a former British Council staff member and would like to volunteer, we would love to hear from you. 

Apply for help

If you're based in the UK:

  • Current colleagues can apply via their line manager 
  • Former colleagues can apply through HR or the British Council Association

If you're based outside of the UK:

  • Current and former colleagues based outside the UK can appy via the Country Director. 

If you want to get in touch directly, email

Benevolent Fund charity number: 161805