Financial support for former employees of BHS

Our History

The history of the Trust Fund and its operation from 1952 through the 2016 store closures to the help and support provided today

Our History

The original Trust Fund was founded in 1952 by the Directors of BHS and was named the BHS Ltd Employee Trust Fund.

It was set up to address concerns about the welfare of retail workers following World War Two and aimed to help BHS employees and their families should they face financial difficulties.

Throughout the years, the Trust changed its name many times and some may remember it being called the Welfare Fund, Special Fund and SOS, to name but a few!

In the last sixty-five years, the Fund has assisted many thousands of former BHS employees.  And well over 1,000 former employees have benefitted from a Trust Fund group holiday.

Some key dates through this period:

  • The Retired Staff Association launched in 1982
  • The Annual holiday for BHS Retirees started in 1983 and was later opened up to include BHS employees
  • 2009 saw the introduction of short breaks in the UK for Individuals and their partners and/or families.
  • In 2014, a team of volunteer Case Workers were appointed across the UK to support the Trust Fund in its work.

BHS closure 2016

August 2016 saw the sad news of the closure of all BHS stores following 80 years of trading, as the Company went into administration. It was the end of an era for all BHS employees, past and present and for all its loyal customers over the years.

At this time, the Fund Trustees felt very strongly that they wished to continue supporting former BHS employees and retirees for 2 main reasons:

  • BHS Employees faced redundancy with a major impact on their lives and their families.
  • Former employees in receipt of a BHS pension and soon to retire employees were facing an uncertain financial future due to the huge cash deficit in the BHS Pension Fund*.

* We can confirm that the BHS Pension Fund received a sum of money which restored BHS pensions in Dec 2017 through a newly set up BHS2 Pension Scheme, for both current and future retirees.  From Oct 2018, all BHS pensions are provided by Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).

The BHS Trust Fund Today

In 2016 the Trustees set about preparing the Trust for the future, with support from the Charity Commission and specialist advisors.

Today we are registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) called the BHS Trust Fund.

Our aim is to continue to help and support former BHS employees for many years to come.

The BHS Trust Fund team

  • Our Trustees – the Fund is both guided and managed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, who are all former BHS senior managers. They share experience of other charity roles.
  • Our Admin Team – our small team of 2 comprises our Fund Secretary and Fund Administrator who have the vital roles of running the charity day to day, supported by our volunteer case workers.
  • Volunteer Case Workers – the Fund is supported by our invaluable team of case workers who are based throughout the UK and provide guidance to both our applicants and beneficiaries

Meet the Team here and find a little out about those behind the scenes.

Contact Us if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer Case Worker

Remember we are here to help – so do get in touch!