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The Centenary Fund

The Centenary Fund is a UK registered charity for current and former Reuters staff and their dependents. Its trust deed states that the fund is “for the benefit of poor and necessitous persons who are or have been in its [Reuters] service and the dependents of such persons”. Founded in 1951 with a company donation to mark Reuters’ centenary year, the fund is run by a managing committee comprising Reuters employees based in Europe, the United States and Asia and retired Reuters staff. The committee meets three or four times a year and procedures are in place to deal with urgent claims by e-mail or teleconference between those meetings.

Applications for modest grants to help ease temporary or short-term hardship or misfortune in cases where the claimant may have nowhere else to turn for financial support are considered by a panel of directors and granted if appropriate. For example, the fund has provided grants to support once-off medical costs not covered by state or private health schemes or to help families facing unforeseen financial difficulties after a death, illness, accident or other setback. All applications are treated in the strictest confidence. 

Grants are entirely at the discretion of the managing committee. Unsuccessful applications tend to be those where the claimant is not qualified to apply; the claim may be inappropriate, or the claim may be simply too high, such as a contribution to major surgery. The fund cannot award ongoing financial support but will consider requests for support towards a specific need. The fund is unlikely to award grants simply to clear debts arising as a result of financial mismanagement over a prolonged period of time.

Although funds are limited, the committee is always anxious to hear of cases of need where the Centenary Fund might make a difference, particularly for retired staff or their families who may not be in regular contact with the company.