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John Acres: When our members need us most

John Acres MRTPI was RTPI President 2017-18. He is also Chair of Trustees of the RTPI Trust. 

In 1994 five far-sighted members of the Institute established a new charity, the RTPI Trust. Their vison for this charity, set out in its trust deed was the “provision of support and financial assistance to members of the RTPI who are in financial hardship”.

Nearly three decades later the RTPI Trust is going strong based on a remit beyond that single purpose. In the past it has funded planning research and it now supports future planners through bursaries to students at accredited planning schools. This year the RTPI Trust made funding available for a ground-breaking initiative supporting planning professionals displaced due to conflicts and natural disasters.

The funds to support this activity come from RTPI members, many generously contributing when they renew their subscriptions each year and many also through personal bequests and gifts.

While the RTPI Trust does many things to support the planning profession it is that core purpose of supporting the welfare of RTPI members and their families that is still central to its activities. Each year the RTPI Trust makes grants to members when they are most in need. This has included support for members whose income has been impacted through ill-health or unemployment or where relocation has been necessary to secure work. The RTPI Trust has also supported the families of members in the case of bereavement or at other times of personal crisis. In each case the RTPI Trust has been a sympathetic and understanding lifeline members could turn to for help.  This is what the benefactors who set up the RTPI Trust had intended.

We all know that the current economic situation has brought challenges for many RTPI members and this looks set to continue. The Trust has been supporting members of the RTPI for nearly 30 years, and will continue to do so this year, next and well into the future.

If you want to know more about the work of the RTPI Trust, how it can support you, or how you can contribute towards its work, click here.


The RTPI Trust is a registered charity (1041078) independent of the RTPI. It is managed by five member Trustees who volunteer their time. Administration expenses are paid for by the RTPI. 

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