Alison Thornton-Sykes, Principal Architect with Newcastle-based architects, JDDK Ltd, has become an Ambassador for the Architects Benevolent Society (ABS), one of the longest established occupational benevolent funds in the UK dedicated to helping past and present members of the wider architectural profession, and their families, in times of need.
The Society has been in existence since 1850, and was formed to relieve poverty for members of the architectural profession in ‘necessitous circumstances’. Since 1850, the Society has helped tens of thousands of people with a variety of financial and support needs, responding to each individual case sensitively. The ABS is a registered charity, funded mainly by voluntary income and rental income, and annually gives approximately £1m to over 600 members of the architectural community and their families.
Alison commented, “I’m honoured to become an ABS Ambassador and help spread the word about the charity and the great work it does not only providing financial assistance but also practical mental health support to people experiencing anxiety, stress and anxiety based depression through ABS’s partnership with Anxiety UK.”
“A surprising and indeed sad fact is that one in twenty members of the wider architectural profession – i.e. architects, architectural technicians and landscape architects – will seek help from ABS at some stage. The role of the Ambassadors is to help raise the profile of the charity amongst the profession and help where we can with the fund-raising events which vary from National Baking Day to various runs, rides, walks to corporate gifts. I have already got JDDK signed up for all the events coming up in the next few months!”
“Mental health, of course, is now a major issue, not only to the architectural profession, but throughout all society. By raising awareness of the difficulties people are experiencing, the services that can be accessed via ABS and then providing rapid access to help, the charity is able to provide real help, and often faster than the normal channels.”
“As Principal Architect at JDDK Architects I have worked on many community projects for a range of charitable organisations who are driven to change people’s lives for the better. It is humbling to work with these people in such settings and by becoming an ABS Ambassador I hope to be able to make a contribution to such change.”