The Benevolent Society to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

The Benevolent Society is preparing to host a trio of important events to celebrate its 100th anniversary and to raise funds to continue its vital work for members of the giftware, jewellery, surface engineering, travel goods and fashion accessories sectors that fall under the British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) umbrella.

Timed to coincide with the annual general meetings (AGMs) of both BATF and the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), The Benevolent Society will host a dinner at the historic Tower of London on June 6, 2024. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a private tour of the British Crown Jewels ahead of the three-course evening meal, which will include an update from The Benevolent Society Chair Gay Penfold.

Later in the year, on Friday, July 12, The Benevolent Society will participate in a Goldsmiths’ North lunch, supported by the Goldsmiths’ Company, at Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield to mark the opening of the Goldsmiths North: Contemporary Silverware & Jewellery Fair (July 12-14). This will be an ideal opportunity to network with the trade, support emerging and established talents, and share an update on recent activities and beneficiaries.

Finally, The Benevolent Society will return to the Grand Hotel Birmingham on Thursday, December 5, for its annual Benevolent Ball. This location is notable for the Society, as it was the exact location of the very first Birmingham Jewellers’ and Silversmiths’ Association Ball in 1933! The evening will be filled with entertainment, prizes, a charity raffle, auction and a few surprises to celebrate all The Benevolent Society has achieved and all those it has helped over the last century.

The Benevolent Society Chair Gay Penfold says: “With so many events on the horizon, I have no doubt that 2024 is going to be a landmark year for The Benevolent Society and a real celebration of our 100th anniversary. We hope to see as many members of the Allied Trades there as possible to mark this incredible milestone in our history and support our future.”

The Benevolent Society (Ben Soc) was founded in 1924 by the Leathergoods Association and has since incorporated several trade federations to become the sole charitable society of the British Allied Trades Federation (BATF).

Gay Penfold adds: “Back in 1924, there was no welfare state, no pensions, no social security, and no National Health Service. These were all introduced over the years but, even today, many who have worked hard all their lives find that, either in retirement or because of ill health, they are struggling to make ends meet. This is where The Benevolent Society is proud to step in.”

Today, The Benevolent Society financially supports over 40 individuals who have worked within the giftware, jewellery, surface engineering, travel goods and fashion accessories industries with monthly payments.

In 2015, the charity extended its support to include help for individuals aged over 21 years starting or progressing their career journeys by providing bursaries for students who have been accepted onto recognised and accredited courses. In the last nine years, The Benevolent Society is pleased to have supported over 80 individuals with their career progression and studies. It regularly co-funds bursaries in partnership with the National Association of Jewellers’ Education Trust, which is also celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2024.

For more information and to secure tickets, please contact Laura Banner at


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