Helping firefighters through tough times
Many brigade members and their families in financial hardship or need have been assisted by the UFBA Benevolent Fund for 30 years.
What is the Benevolent Fund?
Set up with a Trust Deed in 1990, the UFBA Benevolent Fund provides assistance to firefighters and their families who are going through tough times financially or who have suffered misfortune in their lives.
Brigades contribute $5 per member per annum to the fund.
The UFBA Benevolent Fund is a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005.
The Trustees on the Benevolent Fund Board consider every application on a case-by-case basis and make decisions regarding assistance accordingly.
Download the UFBA Benevolent Fund brochure
The current Trustees have extensive experience in fire and emergency services, the UFBA and in the community. They are:
- Chairman Alan Cockburn QFSM, JP
- Graeme Booth MNZM
- Ray Topia MNZM
- Alan Burgess MNZM
- Bryan Styles
- Bill Butzbach (Chief Executive Officer)
- James Walker (UFBA President)
- Jason Prendergast (UFBA Vice President)
Who can apply for help?
Any member of any brigade or rural fire force that is a UFBA member—volunteer, career, rural, urban, industry or defence—can apply for assistance from the UFBA Benevolent Fund.
Benevolent Fund Chairman Alan Cockburn encourages brigades to remember the fund is there to assist their own membership in times of genuine hardship or need.
“Should a member need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the UFBA office,” Alan says. “It’s a credit to the brigades who recognise members in dire need and act quickly in contacting the UFBA family for assistance.”
What kind of help is available?
Every application is considered by the Trustees on the facts of the situation.
Some recent examples of members in need:
- Extra travel or accommodation costs required by family members following a severe injury or illness
- Accommodation, food and clothing needed immediately after a house fire.
Making a difference
The testimonials below show how the UFBA Benevolent Fund makes a difference to the lives of members in need.
“I am so overwhelmed with the kindness from UFBA for even considering us. This will make a huge difference to us allowing me to stay with my daughter at a very important time In her life. When receiving your email I became emotional, that this is being done for us, this means so much!! So please pass on our very overwhelmed thanks and gratitude with helping out our family in its time of need, there is not enough words to say how thankful we are.”
“Earlier this year I required emergency surgery which along with the hospital stay and recovery period I was unable to work for two months. After exhausting all sources of income and support, bills continued to accumulate with no way to pay them. The UFBA were informed of my situation and granted me some much needed assistance during this time. With this generous assistance I no longer had to stress over financial things and was able to just focus on my recovery so I could return to work. My health is now back to normal and things are going well all thanks to the generosity from the UFBA and support from my extended family in the New Zealand Fire Service.”
And from a Volunteer Fire Brigade ...
”I had a member of our brigade that fell ill and required emergency surgery, after the surgery the recovery period was long and stressful. I made a phone call to the UFBA and spoke in full confidence with Jane about the situation ... I was blown away about how willing to help they are and it really made me feel as if we were all part of a big family. The funding that our member received was so important and removed all the stress about bills and allowed them to focus on family and recovery. I urge anyone out there that needs help to get in touch with the UFBA and reach out.”
How to apply for assistance from the UFBA Benevolent Fund
- Download the UFBA Benevolent Fund Application Guidelines which set out how to apply for assistance
- Download the UFBA Benevolent Fund Application Form
- The Chief Fire Officer or Officer in Charge of your brigade must complete and sign the application—give as much information as possible about the situation
- The Fund does not accept applications from possible recipients
- Send the completed and signed application to the UFBA office
- The UFBA Chief Executive Officer may ask for more details before circulating the application to the Benevolent Fund Trustees for consideration
- The Trustees forward their recommendations to the Chairman of the Benevolent Fund, who makes the final decision
- UFBA will then let the applicant know the outcome of their application
- Approved payments are made directly to the family—the Benevolent Fund does not give to fundraising websites such as Givealittle.
For further information, please contact UFBA Membership Support Coordinator Jane Davie by phone on 04 237 2683, 0274 428 655 or email Jane