The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) Benevolent marked its 50th anniversary with a special lunch at the House of Lords.

The committee, which supports AWTE members enduring difficult times, personally or professionally, was set- up in 1967 in memory of Gillyan Shebbeare who left a donation.

Peer and lunch host, Baroness Flather, spoke about her long-standing relationship with the Association and the valuable work carried out by the Benevolent.

Aphrodite Burton, AWTE Benevolent chairwoman said: “Today is about celebrating the fact that for the past 50 years we’ve helped so many members during their time of need. We’ve been on-hand to offer help and support dealing with job losses, illness and bereavement; by making a friendly phone call, arranging financial help or just sending a card.

“Much of what we do goes on behind the scenes, as helping our members during their difficult times needs sensitivity and of course discretion.”

A special message sent by past chair Phil Bocarro, one of the pioneers who formed the Benevolent and joined AWTE in 1956, was read to the guests. The message shared how she along with her fellow board members came up with the idea of setting up a fund to assist all distressed members.

Sarah Clayton-Turner, AWTE chairwoman said: “The benevolent is such an important part of AWTE for so many reasons.  We provide a lot of membership benefits and we want our members to know that the AWTE Benevolent is here for all of them should they ever they need it.”

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