The Baltic Charitable Society’s AGM takes place on 16 May, 1145 at the Baltic Exchange.
The Society was formed from the Baltic and Cereals Friendly Society, the Baltic Exchange Benevolent Society and the Oilseeed, Oil and Feedingstuffs Trades Benevolent Association. It exists to provide help to its members and their dependants who fall into difficulty. Last year a total of £97,172 was paid to 28 beneficiaries, comprising annual grants to help with day-to-day living expenses and special grants to help with specific needs. These have included physiotherapy and chiropractic, transport to and from hospital, house removals, funerals and contributions towards care home fees. Heating grants were made during a period of exceptionally cold weather, and gifts and hampers were distributed to beneficiaries at Christmas.
The Trustees are committed to ensuring that all in the shipping or oilseeds industries are aware of the Society’s purpose. All who work in Baltic Exchange companies or in the oilseeds industry are encouraged to join, as it is only to its members that the Society can make assistance available. The current single subscription for life membership remains at only £50. All current members are asked to let the Secretary know if they hear of colleagues or former colleagues who might be in any sort of hardship – information received in this way is always treated in the strictest confidence.
The Society’s charitable activities are funded largely by income from its investments and these have produced good returns during the past year. A relatively long term investment approach concentrates on assets that are likely to give the best return over a period. A spread of equities, gilts, bonds, alternatives and cash that is consistent with a medium to low risk approach has been agreed, and the Trustees review the Society’s investment policy with its advisers at regular intervals. As well as income from existing funds, subscriptions and donations are also important. Legacies, too, are always gratefully received and members are asked to consider remembering the Society in their wills, perhaps as a way of expressing appreciation for their contact with the Baltic over their business careers. Several generous legacies were received during 2016 and at the end of the year the value of the Society’s assets stood at £5,632,261.
Fuller details of the Society’s activities and financial position are set out in the Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2016 which are available from the Secretary on request.