How old is the BSB?
The BSB has a long and proud history having been formed in 1824, by a group of Old Blues (former pupils of Christ’s Hospital School) who wished to help some of their less fortunate colleagues.
What is the aim of the BSB?
BSB’s aim is to identify, help and support any person who is eligible to receive assistance from the charity. In substance this has remained unchanged for nearly 200 years.
Is the BSB a registered charity?
Yes. The BSB is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales with Charity Number 207818. BSB’s full registered name is the Benevolent Society of Blues.
Is the BSB part of Christ’s Hospital School or Foundation?
No. Although there are links with Christ’s Hospital, in the sense that BSB’s members and Directors, and those who apply for and are given help, are all connected in some way to Christ’s Hospital, the BSB is independent from Christ’s Hospital. The BSB’s finances and governance are completely independent of those of the school and foundation.
What does the BSB actually do?
The BSB uses its resources to provide financial and other assistance to all those who, being eligible to receive assistance under the BSB’s rules, make a successful application for help.
Who runs the BSB?
The BSB is managed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the BSB members at general meetings. Some of the Board’s work is carried out by committees appointed by the Board. The most important is the Grants and Loans Committee which considers all applications for assistance.
Much of the day to day work of the BSB is carried out by the Secretary to the BSB (“the BSB Secretary”) who is a full time employee of the charity based at the BSB’s office at Christ’s Hospital.
Are the Directors and Committee Members paid?
No. All Directors and Committee members give their time freely.
Who is eligible to apply to receive assistance from the BSB?
The BSB’s rules allow assistance to be given to current pupils of Christ’s Hospital and to Old Blues (the name for former pupils of Christ’s Hospital). Assistance can also be given to long-serving past members of staff of Christ’s Hospital, of the Christ’s Hospital Foundation or of the BSB itself.
The rules also allow assistance to be given to persons who are closely connected with those mentioned above. These include parents, spouses, civil partners, widows and widowers, surviving civil partners, children and other dependants.
Full details are available from the BSB secretary.
Do I need to show anything else to be considered eligible?
Yes. The BSB’s rules only allow it to help if the application for assistance demonstrates that there is “need, hardship or distress”.
Assistance provided by the BSB
What sort of assistance is available?
The BSB can provide monetary help and/or assistance for a wide variety of purposes. Assistance can also take the form of practical help, for example by the provision of material goods such as food and other necessities.
Help can also be given to Old Blues for educational and career development purposes. Support grants are available to current pupils at Christ’s Hospital for a variety of purposes.
As well as providing monetary and/or material assistance, the BSB can sometimes provide advice or suggest another organisation that may be better placed to help.
More about monetary assistance from the BSB
What form does monetary assistance take?
The BSB can offer monetary assistance in the form of a grant, a loan or a mixture of the two. Applicants’ circumstances differ greatly and are often determinative of what form of monetary assistance would help most.
Are grants made by the BSB repayable?
No. However, the BSB will want to know that a grant made is used for the purpose for which it is given. It is sometimes possible for the BSB to make arrangements to pay grant monies to a third party, for example a landlord, supplier of goods or further education establishment.
Are loans made by the BSB repayable?
Yes. However, the BSB is able to agree flexible arrangements for a loan to be repaid which take account of the individual borrower’s circumstances.
Does the BSB charge interest on loans?
No. All loans are interest free.
Making an application
Is there anything I need to check before making an application?
Yes. You need to check that you are eligible to apply. If in doubt contact the BSB Secretary who will be able to help.
I am eligible. How do I apply?
The easiest way to apply is to follow the steps set out on this website and make your application online. Alternatively, you can download the relevant form from the website and submit your application on paper.
I see there are three different types of application. Which should I use?
It is important you make the right sort of application. Applications relating to (1) current Christ’s Hospital pupils and (2) further education have their dedicated routes for making an application. There is third application route for all other applications.
If you are a current pupil at Christ’s Hospital or are applying on behalf of a current pupil, please use the “Current pupil/pupil referral” portal on the website or download the form called “Application form for assistance by or on behalf of a pupil currently at Christ’s Hospital”.
If you are applying for assistance with further education, please us the “Further education” portal on the website or download the form called “Application form for financial assistance with further education”.
For all other applications, please use the “All other applications” portal on the website or download the form called “Application for financial assistance in all other cases”.
Are there any tips about making an application?
Yes. You must make sure that you answer all the relevant questions and provide all the supporting documents asked for. If you don’t do this we won’t be able to consider your application.
What happens to my application?
What happens once my application has been submitted?
Initially your application will be reviewed by the BSB Secretary. It is important that the BSB has all relevant information before considering an application and you may therefore be asked to provide further information or documents. Once the BSB Secretary thinks that your application is ready it will be sent for formal consideration.
Who will consider my application?
All applications are considered by the members of the BSB’s Grant and Loans Committee who decide whether or not your application can be accepted and how, if appropriate, the BSB is able to help.
How will I find out whether my application has been successful?
You will be contacted by the BSB Secretary.
How long will it take to consider my application?
No application, however urgent, will be considered until all relevant information has been provided, and a fully completed application form and the provision of all the information requested will always speed things up.
Applications should not be left until the last minute: it will always help to plan in advance. However, the BSB recognises that sometimes the need for help arises very quickly and that assistance is needed sooner rather than later. The BSB Secretary will determine whether an application can be dealt with in the normal course (for example at the next meeting of the Grants and Loans Committee) or whether an earlier response is required. The BSB is usually able to react to urgent applications and give a quick response.
Membership of the BSB
Can I be a member of the BSB?
Membership of the BSB is open to current pupils of Christ’s Hospital and to Old Blues. Staff or former staff of Christ’s Hospital, the Christ’s Hospital Foundation or the BSB, who have completed at least 10 years’ service can also be members.
Details are available on this website or from the BSB Secretary.