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BiCon 2008 Helping Hand Fund

BiCon has a long history of making access a priority. The Helping Hand Fund exists to enable people who are experiencing a financial or accessibility hardship which without support would prevent them from attending BiCon.

BiCon is a volunteer-organised, non-profit event which receives no funding other than registration and booking fees. The helping hand fund is provided by the community through donations and the surplus of previous BiCons.

Donations

BiCon welcomes donations to the helping hand fund, and will keep the identity of donors confidential. If you would like to make a donation to the 2008 Helping Hand Fund you may do so by Cheque, BACS or PayPal - either alongside or separately from a BiCon registration payment.

Please can you let us know by emailing bookings@bicon2008.org.uk that the entirety or which part of your payment is a donation to the fund so we can keep our accounts accurate. Donations to the Helping Hand Fund will be listed as a total-amount in the final BiCon 2008 accounts.

Guidelines and Current Proposal

The Guidelines for BiCon organisers: section B.4 covers the Helping Hand (Equality) Fund.

"BiCon should be made as accessible as possible to people on low incomes and/or with special needs. Means should include: a variable price scheme/sliding scale, an Equality Fund and one-day tickets. These methods should all be well publicised. The Equality Fund should be used to remove or alleviate obstacles that could prevent people from attending BiCon."

— Section B.4 of The BiCon Organisers' Guidelines available at http://www.bicon.org.uk/guidelines.html

At BiCon 2007, it was proposed that a footnote to guideline B.4 above be added:

"The intent is not that the Equality Fund be how unwaged people generally attend BiCon."

This proposal was intended to stress the importance of making BiCon accessible to those on low incomes, irrespective of the Helping Hand Fund.

BiCon 2008's Helping Hand Fund

As promised at BiCon 2007, the BiCon 2008 team has undertaken an analysis of several previous BiCons' costs and worked to ensure that the BiCon 2008 prices are as accessible as possible.

Unwaged registration and three nights of standard accommodation is only £100

This is the lowest unwaged price for BiCon since 2004!

To apply for Helping Hand Funding, please fill out this Helping Hand Fund Application Form which enables us to treat each applicant comparably and fairly.

Helping Hand Funding Allocations will be decided in four batches so early applicants will not have to wait too long for a funding offer:

  1. Applications up to 10th May will have allocations decided by 15th May.
  2. Applications between 11th May and 15th June will have allocations decided by 20th June.
  3. Applications between 16th June and 13th July will have allocations decided by 15th July [this date has been bought back]
  4. BiCon is running a fourth late round of Helping Hand Funding Allocations
  5. Applications between 14th July and 15th August will be decided at BiCon's discretion to allow applicants time to arrange BiCon travel.

Email Natalya at bookings@bicon2008.org.uk if you wish to make a Helping Hand Application after 15th August.

Guidelines for Funding Allocation

In order to maximise the funding available, the 2008 helping hand fund will only provide funding for registration and standard accommodation costs, unless an ensuite room is required for accessibility reasons.

Helping hand funding is only available for the full costs of BiCon registration and accommodation for a PA/carer who is not attending any part of BiCon in their own right.

BiCon 2008 cannot provide funding towards the cost of travel to and from BiCon.

Realistic allocations might include:

  • A reduction in the income band if an applicant is not unwaged, but is experiencing hardship.
  • Funding towards a percentage of the registration cost.
  • Funding towards a percentage of the accommodation cost.

These are some fictional applicants who might be helped by the Helping Hand Fund.

  • James is a student studying in London. He has large debts from university fees and loans for cost-of-living. Helping Hand could be used to reduce James's registration costs.
  • Elizabeth has just moved in with her partner Anna, and has not yet found a job locally. Anna works in a low-paid job at a supermarket. Friends and relatives have agreed to care for their two children, but they still cannot afford the full cost of two BiCon bookings. The Helping Hand fund could be used to reduce Anna's BiCon to the unwaged rate and provide some funding to reduce the full cost of BiCon for them.
  • Robert has disabilities that mean that he needs some assistance during BiCon. Robert's friend Ahmed who identifies as bisexual has volunteered to provide part-time support to Robert in the mornings and nights at BiCon. Helping hand funding could provide partial funding of Ahmed's BiCon.
  • David has recently lost his job, he is seeking unemployment benefits and looking for work. His benefits have not come through yet. Helping Hand could be used to reduce some of the registration and accommodation costs of BiCon.
  • Anita is deaf and has asked BiCon if they can help her with hearing people at BiCon plenaries and workshops. The helping hand fund is used to hire some equipment for her use at BiCon.
  • Last changed 13th July 2008


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