Graham Paterson's Blog

IET Connect Chairman, Graham Paterson's blog

Benevolent – desirous of doing good, charitable (OED); derived from the Latin bene volentem meaning well wishing. This phrase neatly encompasses everything about the work of IET Connect.

I have been a trustee since 2010 and recently succeeded George O’Neill as chairman.  Our board consists of 10 members of the IET who bring with them a range of skills which enables us to understand the potential needs of the diverse mix of IET members.

As trustees it is our job to make sure that the charity is run efficiently, that your donations are used in the best way and that it continues to provide the best support possible. This year we are pleased to welcome three new trustees, Amanda Dowd, Charlotte Joyce and Ross Clarke who are replacing George O’Neill, Colin Cunningham and Colin Porter, who have stepped down after years of service.

Whilst IET Connect is an independent charity, it is important that we maintain close links with the IET.  Our staff work closely with many of the IET staff and the IET appoints two members to our Board – currently Simon Hart (who is also an IET Trustee) and Charlotte Joyce.

If you’d like to find out more about our trustees you can visit the trustees page.

Helping more people than ever

Turn the clock back and we are able to trace our history to 1890 and our first grant of £20 to support one of our members who had fallen on hard times.

Today we spend just over £1 million to provide a range of services in support of members and former members of the IET (and those Institutions that have over the years become part of the IET) and their immediate families around the world.  More details about our services and some of our recent beneficiaries can be found in other parts of this website.

Whilst our capabilities and the number of beneficiaries grew steadily in the early years there has been a remarkable increase in the past five years so a few figures.  The number of beneficiaries helped each year has more than doubled from just under 500  to almost 1,000; 74% (previously 53%) of beneficiaries are of working age; grants have increased from £300,000 - £630,000 per year.

We want to be able to provide more services and to continue to meet the ever more complex needs of our beneficiaries but at this point I would like to take this opportunity to counter two misconceptions.  Firstly we do not receive any financial support from the IET; and secondly members’ basic subscriptions do not include a donation to IET Connect.  This is why we included an explanatory flier with the IET subscription renewal letter and with it the details about how members can make a donation (have a look at the donations page for details on all the ways you can donate).

We would like to think that your Benevolent Fund will be there to help you even after you’ve left the IET; your generosity will help to ensure it is.