Thank you for your interest in the work of the Royal Society for the Support of Women of Scotland and in the roles of Chair of the Committee and Trustee.
Since 1847 the Society has been providing direct financial support to single women aged 50 or over who live in Scotland and are struggling financially. This remains at the core of our work today and in any year, we disburse close to £1.2 million in grants to just under 1000 women mostly through a monthly grant paid on top of their benefits or pensions. The persistence of the gender pension gap, and the disproportionate impact of the cost-of-living crisis on women and people on low incomes, means that this support remains as relevant and urgent today as it was when the Society was first founded.
We have the great good fortune to have built up significant investments over the years from which we draw our operational income. This means the Society does not have to constantly re-invent itself in the pursuit of funding, and instead we have the freedom to focus on what we consider most important to making a difference in older women’s lives. To this end we have always taken a “cash first” approach and, if needs be, we are one of the very few organisations who can offer women the security of long-term support where appropriate.
Throughout its history, the Society has also prioritised providing support in a dignified manner to our beneficiaries, and I have been proud to have played some part in this. I am sad to be standing down at this exciting time for the Society as we modernise our work while never losing our key focus on delivering what matters most for older single women. However, my term has ended, and this is a good time to be passing on the mantle to a new Chair and to recruit new Trustees to join our current excellent Trustee group and staff team in the important work of guiding the Society as it moves forward.
I wish you, and the Society, all the very best.