The Benevolent Fund operates 27 cottages and apartments at 2 sites in Northern Ireland.
These allow us to annually offer around 1100 one-week respite breaks to eligible applicants.
We know that these apartments are extremely popular; this year we were unable to open for the full season due to Covid but nevertheless we had exceptional demand for these facilities.
We have listened to feedback from you and have reviewed our allocation processes slightly. We believe that these changes will broaden access to the cottages and apartments. In particular we hope that the changes will increase broader availability during the summer and assist those who have not had a break previously.
The main points are as follows;
PART A – Eligibility for use of the apartments
- In Service Widow(er)s/ Bereaved Partners
- The apartments are available for the use of the parents of a deceased single officer (i.e. a deceased officer who is not survived by a widow, widower or bereaved partner).
- The apartments are available for the use of retired officers and widows/ widowers and bereaved partners of retired officers (not within the definition of category 1 above)
PART B – Booking arrangements
- An eligible person may make a maximum of 2 bookings in any calendar year;
- All eligible persons will only be allowed one high season holiday in a calendar year;
- Category 2 and 3 will not be allowed a high season holiday in consecutive years. High season is June – August;
- Category 1 may make an advanced booking for one holiday per year, all other categories may only make an advance booking if they have not availed of a holiday the previous year;
- An advance booking is now 6 months in advance (this was previously 5 months in advance);
- A standard booking can now be made up to 4 weeks in advance (this was previously 2 weeks in advance)
Finally, is it important to thank those who were able to support the Benevolent Fund in operating these respite breaks. It costs more than several hundred pounds per apartment per week running these apartments and we greatly appreciate those who donate towards these costs.