New chairman for journalists' fund

Former BBC Parliamentary correspondent Nick Jones faces a testing time as the new chairman of the council of NPF – The Journalists’ Charity.

Outgoing chairman Rob Gibson said Jones had “the two most crucial years in the fund’s history ahead of him” as he spearheads a drive to collect an estimated £3.5m to build a new nursing home to replace Sandy Cross at Dorking, Surrey.

The NPF – formerly the Newspaper Press Fund – gave the go-ahead for the home, which will have a special unit for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, at its annual general meeting in London last week.

Jones will be seeking donations from within the industry to supplement the £500,000 designated by the NPF to the project. One of the more novel ways to raise money will be an auction to name the new home – it has already attracted a bid for £600,000 – and to name individual rooms within it.

Viscount Rothermere was re-elected as the fund’s president and Noel Richley and Brian Ager as joint treasurers.

Re-elected as councillors for another three-year term were Gibson, Bill Newman, Gerry Armes, Bill Hagerty and Stephen Somerville.

The Fund paid out £200,000 in grants to needy journalists and their dependents in 2003

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