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2020 / 2021 Edition

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IQBF tackles lockdown loneliness

Institute of Quarrying Benevolent Fund

IQ Benevolent Fund launches series of coffee morning events to counter isolation and loneliness

IN an effort to tackle loneliness in lockdown, the Institute of Quarrying Benevolent Fund (IQBF) has launched a series of virtual coffee morning events.

The Mental Health Foundation reported in one of its latest surveys that one in four adults (24%) in the UK is experiencing loneliness. The virtual coffee morning initiative from IQBF is part of its ongoing programme of support available to members and their families.

Wanda Zablocki, welfare officer for the IQBF, explained: ‘As part of our drive to reach out to members, former members, retired members and their families who may be in need of support in times of difficulty, we sent out a personalized letter to remind people of the support available through the IQ Benevolent Fund.

‘It transpired that there was a small group of ladies whose husbands had passed away and who really appreciated a regular phone call. In an effort to provide them with a support group, we organized a virtual coffee morning over Zoom and sent a hamper, complete with tea, coffee and sweet treats, in the post.

‘It was so lovely listening to their stories from past IQ dinner dances, discussions about their husbands and the industry, as well as general chat about how they are coping in lockdown.’

As a result of the success from the first virtual coffee morning, IQBF has also arranged virtual coffee mornings for a group of former presidents and retired members. The feedback received from attendees of these events, as well as those who received the letter, has been overwhelmingly positive.

‘I do not require any help or assistance from yourselves, but I wanted to say thank you for the offer anyway, it left me with a warm glow that an organization that I was a member of for many years hasn't forgotten me. It was a very caring thing to do.’

‘Thank you so much for contacting me – you may not realize how comforting it is to receive your emails.’

‘I thank you for your most considerate and kind letter of support to myself and my family and would like to say how much I appreciate it.’

IQ chief executive officer James Thorne said: ‘We are delighted that the launch of our virtual coffee mornings has been well received, which is why we’re making these a regular occurrence. Being an IQ member not only supports you throughout your career, but through the IQ Benevolent Fund, we can support you throughout your life.’

Established in 1925, the IQ Benevolent Fund (IQBF) has helped many members and families over the years facing financial uncertainties because of long-term illness, disability or death.

From financial support and advice to a regular phone call or email exchange to help with isolation, IQBF is there to help. Anyone contacting IQBF can be assured that their situation will be treated individually, with discretion and care, by an independent board of trustees.

Enquiries about the IQBF should be directed to IQBF welfare officer Wanda Zablocki via email: [email protected]; or telephone: 0115 855 6500. There is also a dedicated page on the IQ website: www.quarrying.org/iqbf

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