How much do you know about LionHeart?
If you're an RICS professional or an APC candidate, chances are you know our name and a little bit about the support services and financial help that we offer.
But we're not just here for when things go wrong in life. We often find people are surprised to discover the extent of what we offer, and that the scope of our services goes far beyond what they'd imagined - including personal and career development and wellbeing support.
We've rounded up some of the questions we often hear and the misconceptions people sometimes have about LionHeart. Take a read and see if you know all there is to know about YOUR charity...
Is LionHeart part of the RICS?
No, LionHeart is completely separate to the RICS and we are registered as an independent charity. We work closely with and enjoy good support from the RICS, but we are entirely independent.
I'm retired now/ no longer working as a surveyor. Does that mean LionHeart can't help me?
Our services are for all past and present members of the RICS. It doesn't matter if you're no longer practising - as long as you've been a member and previously paid professional subscription fees to RICS, you will remain eligible for help from us for the rest of your life, and so will your partner and any dependants.
I'm not MRICS yet, am I eligible for support?
You are eligible for support from LionHeart as soon as you're an AssocRICS candidate or on your APC pathway; this continues for the rest of your career and into retirement.
In recognition of the increasingly diverse routes into the profession, we have now extended our support to surveying apprentices as well as final year students on RICS accredited courses.
We are very proud to be supporting the chartered surveyors of the future so early on in their careers and hope to forge lifelong associations with them.
You can find out more about the services you can access using the links below:
Doesn't LionHeart just give money to surveyors who have fallen on hard times?
Giving financial grants to those suffering hardship, perhaps because of ill-health or a sudden change in their personal circumstances, is an important part of what we do. Our roots were as a Victorian style benevolent fund which was originally set up to support widows and orphans in the days before any kind of welfare state.
But we have evolved into much more than that. In recent years only a small proportion of the people we helped received a grant (typically around a third a year).
Instead, we're seeing much bigger demand for the more holistic support that we have developed, including counselling, employment and legal support, coaching and training and development courses designed specially to help RICS members live happier, healthier lives.
Does the RICS fund LionHeart?
We are an entirely independent charity and the RICS does not fund LionHeart.
Where does your money come from then?
Our most important source of annual income actually comes from you - the members! This collected for us by the RICS through the annual subs process, when professionals are asked if they'd like to make a £25 donation to LionHeart at the same time. We are very grateful to the RICS for doing this for us - as well as to the many thousands of surveyors who choose to donate!
We receive no government grants or corporate funding, and we don't have any restricted income from trusts or foundations. This means we have the freedom to spend our donated income on our charitable aims as we see best.
We're also in the fortunate position of having an investment income from legacies and donations that have been left by former chartered surveyors over our 125-year history.
LionHeart is lucky enough to have some committed fundraisers! And we also receive funds from firms that donate their Residual Clients Account Money to us. All these donations are so important and help us keep helping people just like you.
If my employer pays my RICS subs for me, do you receive a donation?
There are a large number of surveyors who have their annual RICS membership paid for them by their employer through a corporate payment scheme. This means (unfortunately for us!) they don't get chance to make a donation to LionHeart through the renewals process.
Some people assume that LionHeart receives a donation automatically as part of the corporate payment scheme but this is not the case - although some firms do choose to make donations to support our work.
As well as us missing out on much-needed donations from individual surveyors, this all means sometimes they don't get opportunity to hear from us about our services too.
If you are a surveyor that falls into this category, please consider:
Can I only receive help from you if I've 'paid in' to LionHeart first?
Sometimes people have the misconception that LionHeart is a kind of 'insurance policy'. It is not necessary to have made a donation in order to receive support from us; if you are or have previously been an RICS professional then we'll do whatever we can to support you, whatever the circumstances.
We do have set criteria and guidelines to follow when it comes to grant giving; however, this is to do with people's savings and income and is in no way related to donation history.
Do you really offer free, professional counselling?
Yes, we really do offer free, professional counselling and it has now become one of our most requested services. In the UK and Ireland, this is offered by our own in-house BACP registered counsellors. Even better, we are committed to keeping waiting times low so you can get the help you need when you need it.
We can also offer counselling to those members in other global regions, arranging referrals to vetted, accredited counselling services in their own area and often in a preferred language.
We recently launched our first ever youth counselling offer through specialist partners, for the children aged 12 and up of UK-based professionals.
I'm a surveyor, but my husband/ wife is not. You can't help them, can you?
All of our services are available to the spouses or partners of RICS professionals; that includes financial help in certain situations, counselling, employment support and all our online training.
We know if the people you love are having a tough time, then it impacts on the whole family. If you are a member of the RICS, please make sure you tell your loved ones about us too!
Do you help members anywhere in the world?
We help RICS professionals no matter where they are based. For those who need legal or counselling support this will be offered by our trusted local partners, but the LionHeart support team will still be with you every step of the way.
Do you work for the RICS?
Nope - as we said before we are a completely separate entity, although we do enjoy a close working relationship. The only people we "work for" are people just like you: the RICS members themselves.
In terms of governance, we are registered with the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator, and abide by their codes of practice, and we are governed by a board of volunteer trustees, most of whom are RICS professionals.