Friendly Society

Support for individuals and families affected by Covid-19

The Friendly Society has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by introducing a new grant scheme for individuals and families whose finances have been adversely affected.  The scheme is for residents of Westbury Sub Mendip and is not restricted to members of the Friendly Society.  Details of the scheme, including how to apply, are available here Financial Support Guidance and Application Form 

A copy of the guide for applicants is given below.

2020 Coronavirus Support Fund

A Guide for Applicants – Individuals and Families


Friendly Societies were originally formed to provide an early form of social security and would help members when they hit hard times. The Westbury Friendly Society was founded in the late eighteenth century and is one of only five remaining in Somerset. Currently, many people’s finances have been affected very badly by the coronavirus situation, and continuing with tradition, a support fund has now been established to help residents of the Westbury-sub-Mendip parish.

Anyone who is experiencing temporary financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19 may apply. You do not have to be a member of the Friendly Society.

This document sets out:

  • the eligibility and criteria for application
  • what will and will not be supported and
  • how to apply.

This application form and notes apply to individuals and families.

Those seeking financial support for local voluntary organisations should use the separate form here  (embed link)

Who can apply?

Applications will be considered from any individual who: –

  • has been ordinarily resident in the parish of Westbury-sub-Mendip for the last twelve months
  • is self-employed or employed and has lost income owing to Covid-19
  • is over the age of 18 and has a UK bank account for payment
  • is not a full-time student
  • has a household income of less than £15000

Note: In accordance with (a) above, applications will not be considered from residents of Westbury-sub-Mendip on behalf of family members who do not live in the parish of Westbury-sub-Mendip.

 How to apply

All applications must be made to the Chairman of the Friendly Society ( in the first instance, using the form below. Your application will be dealt with in the strictest confidence. The small Grants Committee will review your application and give a response within 10 days.

If your application is successful you will be ask you how you would like to receive the funding.

What will be supported.

  • The Friendly Society has limited resources. This support scheme is designed to provide interim assistance to those members of our community who currently are experiencing financial difficulties.
  • Consideration will be given to all applications receive; however the Friendly Society has limited funds, and therefore they cannot guarantee that all sums applied for will be met in full.
  • We are unable to replace your income. We aim to provide one-off short-term support towards immediate and essential living expenses (food, bills etc.).
  • We aim to support cases of genuine financial difficulty where other sources of funding are not available or, are not available in time to meet current need.
  • We will only be able to consider one application per household.
  • In addition to making grant payments, we also aim to help people find information on longer term sources of financial assistance, and organisations who are able to provide support with health, emotional or other difficulties resulting from the crisis.

 Support for applicants

Individuals considering applying may find it helpful to talk through their circumstances in confidence with an advisor who can:

  • help with completing the application,
  • suggest additional potential sources of financial support and
  • advise on other types of support that may be available.

To access this support please leave a telephone or text message on 07851 227855 giving your telephone number and saying that you would like to talk about financial support.  Someone will ring you back.

Policy for the Protection of Personal Data

The Grants Committee managing the Coronavirus Support Fund on behalf of Westbury Friendly Society is committed to protecting the rights and privacy of all residents applying for support.

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and General Data Protection Regulations govern the use of information about an individual’s personal data.

We acknowledge that to access this programme you will be providing Westbury Friendly Society with personal information. We take the responsibility for keeping this information secure and confidential.

The information you provide will be used to assess whether the Westbury Friendly Society can provide interim financial assistance to you. All applications will be allocated a unique reference number to ensure identifiable information is anonymised.

We will not share your personal information with any other organisation or body.

Information received will be stored electronically with access secured under password protection. On conclusion of the Assistance Programme all information stored will be deleted.

 Application forms can be obtained from the friendly Socety Chairman  



In addition to the new grant scheme we are publishing a list of other sources of financial support available to individuals and households affected by Covid-19.  It can be accessed here Sources of help with finances



Thursday 7th November 2019

Each session of the Friendly Society affectionately known as the ‘Club’ lasts for a period of 3 years.  On 31st October 2019 the current ‘Club’ comes to an end.  The community must now decide whether they want to reform and continue the good work that has been carried out over previous years.

We must continue to keep local traditions alive, to be proud of our village, and sustain a society which provides a great deal towards the social and community life of Westbury-sub-Mendip.  All funds raised by the society are directed back to benefit the community within Westbury in the form of donations, grants and supporting events.  During the last three years we have provided over £5000 in the form of grants and free events for the community.  Grants have been given to the Village Hall, Community Shop, PTA, the Playing Field, and many others.  In addition to facilitating the annual Village Day event, amongst the activities we provide are a Children’s Easter Egg Hunt and a Mystery Outing for our senior citizens.

For this to continue your support is needed.  If you would like to see the Friendly Society continue why not join us on Thursday 7th November 2019 at 7:00p.m. in the Westbury Inn to support the formation of a new Friendly Society and elect a new Committee.  To join please complete the ‘Expression of Interest’ section on the back of this letter and return it to the Village Stores.  Membership of the Friendly Society is the princely sum of £10 for the 3 years the Club is in existence.  Immediately following the introductory meeting why not participate in the New Club Sign Up Supper (£15 per person, to be paid directly to the Westbury Inn).  If you are interested in joining us for supper please provide details of your menu selection.  Alternatively come along and sign up and enjoy a drink at the bar from 9:00 p.m.

A letter will shortly be issued to all residents inviting them to join the New Club Sign Up Supper.


Saturday 30th June 2018 – Village Day Our traditional day for Village Day has been moved from 19th May, just for this year, as it clashes with both the Royal Wedding and the Cup Final. Please could any or all those involved let their plans, views and ideas be known to Peter as Secretary of the Friendly Society (see contacts at the back of the PEW). The more Village organisations are involved the better.

Mystery Tour:- This is being planned for Monday 3rd September however this year will include a charge of £10 for Friendly Society members (£12 for non-members).  This will contribute to the increasing costs of the Mystery tour day. Anyone who is a resident of Westbury and is 65 or over or who is married to someone over 65 is eligible.  You should receive an invitation at the beginning of August.

Monday 10th September 2018: – The next committee meeting will be held in the Westbury Inn commencing at 6:00p.m.

Saturday 10th November    A date for your diary!   A dinner in the Village Hall is being organised by John Crickett appreciating ‘100 years on from the Armistice in 1918’.    More details will be available in September.

Friday 7th December   In the Village hall the Friendly Society Quiz and Raffle night.  Teams of 4 @£5a head.

Easter Egg Hunt  -2nd April  2018:- This years Easter Egg Hunt was once again based at Harding’s Barn. There was a good display of  Easter Bonnets and decorated eggs.  Young and old enjoyed the hunt for tokens which were exchanged for Easter Eggs on the competitors return.  Tea and hot-cross buns albeit cold were a welcome refreshment on everyone’s return after the hunt.   Every child returned home with a number of Easter Eggs.   We are grateful to the Harding Family for allowing us once again to use their barn. . .