Press Fund calls for industry aid

A slump in shares has wiped £4m off the assets of the newspaper industry’s leading charity, writes David Rose.

At one time the Newspaper Press Fund had assets of £14m, but these have fallen to under £10m. It is asking journalists to raise £3m to fund rebuilding its care home in Dorking, Surrey.

The work has become necessary because new regulations require rooms to be upgraded with en suite facilities.

Now, to safeguard the £4,000-a-week payments made to journalists who have fallen on hard times, the charity’s chairman, Robert Gibson, appealed this week to its 5,500 members to rally round.

To encourage donations or bequests Gibson said: “Every meeting room, walkway, the restaurant, games room, each individual room or flat or bungalow could carry the name of a former member or benefactor whose loved ones wished to commemorate.”

Even the home itself, he said, could be renamed after a giant of the industry.

Others he suggested could help by installing swear boxes in news rooms and contributing the proceeds, or, if they took part in the London Marathon, by donating money they raised.

David Rose

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