Social Services Committee

The Social Services Committee, also known informally as Jericho Road Victoria

Committee Members

Jennifer Pilgrim (Convener), Tom Cunneen (Treasurer), Luke Isham (Secretary), Grant Lawry, Dennis Conradi, Elizabeth Lewis.

Committee Activities

Sessions are invited to bring opportunities of need to the attention of the Social Services Committee (SSC). This is done via an extracted minute (emailed PDF to the secretary) explaining:

  • the financial nature of the need, 
  • the relevant circumstances of the individual with the need,
  • providing the individual’s first name, and their BSB and account number.
  • However some individuals in need do not have access to a bank account for a variety of complex reasons. In these situations Sessions would indicate that is the case and provide the congregational bank account details.  

The SSC then evaluates the need and applies money from one of the trusts it administers to that specific charitable need. A request is then sent by the SSC to the Trust Corporation to disburse the funds to the individual in need and the relevant Session informed of the SSC’s decision. That Session is then requested to follow up with the individual in need to ensure they received a disbursement, provide a pastoral context for the allocation and ensure that the money has been properly applied to the described need. The Session is then required to briefly report by email to the SSC, that the funds have been disbursed to the need previously described.

The SSC is responsible for administering the following four trusts, each with slightly different bequest details. The Trust Corporation is the legal entity responsible for the interpretation of the bequests and the correct disbursement of funds. Some of the Trusts are very broad in nature, others more specific. For example the Brocklesby Trust can only be applied to Protestant women who live in Victoria and who are in need, whereas the Douglas Trust can be applied to any poor individual in Australian territory who also has a genuine current need.

Opportunities are assessed by the Social Services Committee on a first-come first-served basis, and the Trust Corporation recommends the SSC adopt a conservative approach to the amount of disbursements, given the scale of need each Trust seeks to address. 

The Brocklesby Trust

“The income is to be used for the care, comfort and benefit of protestant women resident in Victoria who are in genuine need.”

The Douglas Trust

“Income is to be applied to assist the poor and needy anywhere in Australia.”

The Challenger Trust

Bequest to provide assistance to the poor in the city of Melbourne and surrounding districts.”

The Trust Corporation interpret “Melbourne and the Surrounding areas” as the Melbourne metropolitan area.

The Thomas Hall Trust

“Minute 286/08 of the meeting of the Trusts Corporation on 19 August 2008 records that it was agreed to allocate the funds from the T O Hall Bequest to Social Services for purposes as near as possible to those contained in the will, for use in connection with the care of children, preferably in some form of residential care, under the auspices of or associated with the Presbyterian Church of Victoria.”

Given the nature of the residential events organised by the PYV Council, the Council is encouraged to provide a list of first names and financial amounts of each of the children in need who attended a particular PYV Camp. Upon receipt of that information the SSC will then apply Thomas Hall Trust money to the residential care of the aforementioned children. The PYV Council is then requested to confirm receipt of the funds and confirm they have been applied to the payment of the relevant PYV camp fees.

Sessions, may take a similar approach prior to, or immediately after a church camp, identifying individual children by first name who are going to reside at the congregational camp or have resided very recently at the church camp who are in need of financial assistance and the amount of financial assistance required. The Session is then requested to confirm receipt of the funds and confirm they have been applied to the payment of the relevant congregational camp costs.