The Benevolent Fund was set up in 1973, succeeding an existing charitable fund. It was decided that its principal aim should be to support people in trouble, particularly young offencers and ex-offenders, and other disadvantaged young people. Preference is given to pump priming new projects, especially those which are innovatory and can serve as a model elsewhere.
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Funds are given to help disadvantaged young people, especially those at risk of offending, and to address problems faced by offenders, ex-offenders and their families. There is a preference for supporting smaller charities which provide direct services.