Our aim is to help members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) who, because of sickness, accident or other unforeseen circumstance, need short-term financial assistance. We cannot aid members who, in the long-term, find it difficult to make a living from journalism. In such circumstance we recommend you seek alternative work.

We provide similar help to former members of the NUJ, provided they resigned from the union and did not owe the NUJ money.

We also top up the incomes of dependents of deceased members, such as widows and orphans. We determine a suitable income and if pensions and benefits do not reach that amount, we pay the difference. Our figures are revised each year.

Paying bills

For members and former members facing hardship, we concentrate on settling the debts that could lead to court cases or homelessness. So we will pay rent and mortgages sooner than store card bills, for example. It is our policy, when helping with bills or payments for rent, to pay the grant direct to the supplier or landlord. We rarely send money to individuals.

We are happy to consider requests for help in purchasing medical equipment such as wheelchairs or to pay for minor home adaptations but we very rarely replace computers or cameras. We advise you to make sure your equipment is adequately insured against loss.

We also work closely with other charities and often share the costs of larger items or major home improvements.

Credit cards and major debts

Many applications received are for assistance with large credit card or other debts. We understand that many people use credit when their circumstances take a turn for the worse. However, although we will assist members with utility bills or similar, we cannot use charitable funds to pay off credit card or other large debts. We do advise credit counselling, perhaps coming to an agreement with creditors or declaring yourself bankrupt.

All applicants must complete an application form and give as much information as possible about income and reserves. We believe our charitable funds should not be used to replace state benefits, so applicants must claim all state benefits to which they are entitled.

What we do not do

We do not pay solicitor's fees or other legal bills. We do not pay for private medicine or private education and would not normally consider someone paying for these to be in need of our help.

Donate to NUJ extra – anyone can donate money to the charity. Members should log in to the website before making a donation to avoid filling in forms.