On 27th November a small group of architects met in the Freemasons Tavern to set up a fund for the relief of the more unfortunate members of their profession. The Architects Benevolent Society was founded with the objects of the Society to provide relief to “persons engaged or formerly engaged in the practice of architecture and the wives, widows, children and other dependents of such being in necessitous circumstances”
Our first four cases of support were recorded including a widow with four children and a “professional gentleman now in the evening of his life, a paralytic attack having entirely disabled him from exercise of his pencil.”
We celebrated our 50th anniversary having been able to support over 50 individuals and families. It was recorded that: “from small beginnings the Society has steadily developed to its present size and efficiency; during its existence many thousands of pounds have been collected and distributed amongst deserving applicants.”
Shortly after the declaration of the First World War we helped form the ‘Architects War Committee’ which issued a special appeal for contributions for the ‘relief of members of the profession in distress’.
The depression in the early 1930s resulted in considerable unemployment. Architects Benevolent Society were involved in formulating a joint committee and unemployment fund for those facing distress as a result. It was reported that we were able to place over forty men in work.
We celebrated our 100th anniversary at the Dorchester, London having recorded 102 cases of support.
Her Royal Highness, The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon became the Patron of the Society.
By 2000 we had widened our eligibility to help landscape architects and architectural technologists.
His Royal Highness, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester was appointed Patron of the Society.
We launched our partnership with Law Express enabling us to provide beneficiaries of the Society with access to free telephone legal advice and guidance.
We launched our partnership with Shelter to offer specialist housing advice to our beneficiaries.
We launched our partnership with Anxiety UK enabling us to provide mental health support to our beneficiaries.
We celebrated our 170th anniversary having been a Foundation of Support to the architectural community for 170 years.