Coronavirus: letter from The Ben

Stephen McGowan

Dear Friends,

The Ben is, like the rest of our trade, reeling from the impact of the coronavirus. This is without doubt the biggest challenge our charity has faced in some time. For health and safety reasons we have stopped visits to our many beneficiaries and we are now postponing the undernoted events. These are invidious decisions but the correct ones in the current climate. Most if not all fundraising initiatives will now not go ahead for some months.

We have, of course, seen a spike in requests for assistance. In order to try and respond to this robustly we are launching a special ‘lifeline’ fund to react to this unprecedented crisis. We have updated our website with a new request for assistance form. My message today is this: if you were due to attend a Ben event or support a particular initiative over the coming months we would please ask that you consider making an equivalent donation – this will go straight to the lifeline fund, which can be accessed here:

The sad truth is we will not be able to help every individual affected by the crisis. We will process as many new requests as we can on a case by case basis using our normal instincts, criteria and charitable objectives to guide us. We will continue to signpost other sources and resources of help.

I also wish to reassure our existing beneficiaries that our support will continue. The pension payments due in May 2020 will be met in full and Chris has already written to everyone to confirm this. We will also continue to support all our residents, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable, living on the Ben estate in Pitlochry. Special measures are being put in place to support our residents having to self-isolate or Social distance over the coming weeks and months.

Events are changing at such a rapid pace our charity will, like the rest of society, have to react on an ongoing basis. However, I wish to reassure the trade that our resolve has redoubled. The Ben is your charity, and the Ben abides. We will get through this.

Stephen McGowan
President of The Ben


  • Quizathon, April 30
  • Ladies Event, May 14
  • Ayr Races, May 20
  • Mar Hall Golf, May 27