The Royal Theatrical Fund
The somewhat grand title of The Royal Theatrical Fund obscures the fact that, first and foremost, it is a charity. A charity that is dedicated to relieving hardship and poverty of not only performers and technicians in most of the theatrical arts but in some cases, also their dependants.
When the RTF was founded in 1839, it was created to provide pensions for actors who had made no provision for their old age. Under the chairmanship of Charles Dickens, it received its first Royal Charter from Queen Victoria. When our present Queen Elizabeth, now our patron, ascended to the throne, the opportunity was taken to widen the remit of the Fund under a new Royal Charter. So it is that, today, many of the most heart-rending cases needing help are referred to the RTF because many other theatrical charities, under their constitutions, are not permitted to help.
We are able to help with supplementing income at the minimum State level and by meeting basic domestic bills. We are able to give temporary help to the sick, guidance to those who, under duress, have fallen heavily into debt and others who may require assistance such as mobility aids or even accommodation and furniture. We also help with the shortfall in nursing home fees, residential care fees and home care nursing bills.
The range of support is considerable and, when necessary, we form ‘packages’ with other charities and societies to achieve the support that is required.
Today, as you read this, the RTF is helping some 250 beneficiaries’ -many of whom are living barely above the poverty line. It is good to remember that, whilst sometimes the most celebrated performers are in need of our help, not all are in the spotlight of fame and fortune. If you have affection for the performing arts and wish to support those players who have fallen on bad times, be assured that the Royal Theatrical Fund will use your donations wisely and well. Thank you!