National Benevolent Fund for the Aged

The National Benevolent Fund for the Aged (NBFA) is a registered charity in the United Kingdom which provides support for isolated, marginalised and lonely older people on low incomes.[1]


The National Benevolent Fund for the Aged's aim is to increase their independence and social confidence to make positive changes in their own lives. Research, including by John Cacioppo has also demonstrated the link between social isolation and poor physical health.[2] The NBFA works with older people and associated organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.[3]

The three main services the NBFA currently provides are 5-day Breaks-Away trips, TENS pain relief machines and Emergency Home Telephone Alarms. These services are provided for free for older people (over the age of 60) who meet the charity's criteria. A day trips service was also introduced in 2011.[4] Volunteers are particularly important to the work of the NBFA, both in the office and on the Breaks-Away.[5]

The NBFA was founded in 1957. For the first few years it distributed monies raised to other organisations supporting older people. It then started to offer televisions to older people so that friends and neighbours would visit their homes and socialise, and then gradually introduced other services. As of 2011 its patron is Mary Soames, Baroness Soames (daughter of Prime Minister Winston Churchill), its president is Betty Boothroyd and its chairman is Marion Roe.[6] Its chairman from 1995 to 2010 (and trustee since 1974) was Winston Churchill (grandson of the former prime minister),[7] another link to the Churchill family since Clementine Churchill (widow of the prime minister) became president in 1972.[8][9] John de Trafford, Roger Pincham, Jeff Rooker, Baron Rooker, Laura Sandys and Tony Newton, Baron Newton of Braintree are among the trustees. The vice presidents are Christopher Herbert, John Alderdice, Baron Alderdice, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, David Steel and Frederick Forsyth. George Thomas, 1st Viscount Tonypandy was appointed chairman of the NBFA in 1984, having recently retired as Speaker of the House of Commons. He served as chairman until 1994, when he was appointed president.

In 2007 Paul Burstow introduced an Early Day Motion congratulating the NBFA on its 50th anniversary.[10] The "Best Tea Time Ever" is an annual series of fund-raising events.[11] Chef Angela Hartnett was spokesperson for the group for its 2007 event at the Chelsea Flower Show.[12][13] The work of the charity is promoted through BBC Radio 4 appeals, such as in 2009.[14]


  1. ^ "243387- National Benevolent Fund for the Aged". UK Charity Commission. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Louise C. Hawkley; Ronald A. Thisted; John T. Cacioppo (2009). "Loneliness predicts reduced physical activity: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses". Health Psychology 28 (3): 354–363. doi:10.1037/a0014400. PMID 19450042. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Annual Review". National Benevolent Fund for the Aged. March 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "NBFA Breaks–Away and Day Trips". Tourism for All. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Volunteers Awards Ceremony". Volunteer Centre Westminster. June 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Trustees and staff". web site. NBFA. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Winston Churchill". Newsletter. National Benevolent Fund for the Aged. Summer 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Chris Wrigley (2002). Winston Churchill: a biographical companion. ABC-CLIO. p. 115. ISBN 9780874369908. 
  9. ^ Mary Soames (2003). Clementine Churchill: the biography of a marriage. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 560. ISBN 9780618267323. 
  10. ^ "National Benevolent Fund For The Aged". Early Day Motion number 878 in 2006-07, proposed by Paul Burstow. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "National Benevolent Fund For The Aged". Brand Identity sample. Creatiscope. 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Celebrity watch". Third Sector. 1 August 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "A Garden to Take Tea In: Hilary Thomas, Capel Manor College". BBC gardening guide. 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Radio 4 Appeal: National Benevolent Fund for the Aged". BBC. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 

External links

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