From Skyfall to windfall: How the new Bond film will help out old spies


Secretive, mysterious and very difficult to track down.

Not James Bond, but the charities for retired and impoverished spies which are in line for a big windfall thanks to the new 007 film Skyfall.

All proceeds from the world premiere of the 23rd Bond film at the Royal Albert Hall in London next Tuesday will go to supporting former and serving members of the three intelligence agencies, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Skyfall's stars, including Daniel Craig, Dame Judy Dench and Javier Bardem will attend the event, and the film company revealed last month that the guest of honour will be Prince Charles, the Royal Patron of the intelligence services. It was at the prince's request that the spy charities will benefit.

But intrigue surounds the work of these organisations, which turn out to be as secretive as the agencies they support. Spokesmen for the film and Clarence House declines to reveal the charities' names, although The Independent understands that the Assist Fund, which supports members of the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, will be one.

It was previously called the Century Benevolent Fund, a reference to MI6's former headquarters Century House, and has been going for over 45 years.

There is scant information available about the Assist Fund. Its registration with the Charity Commission lists it as "relieving poverty and need among current and former employees, or their close relatives, of the Government Communications Bureau and its associated organisations".

In its most recent figures, which unusually withhold the name of the trustees with permission from the Commission, showed the charity had received close to £137,000 in the year to the end of June 2011, and spent £51,700.

There are no contact names or addresses listed other than a PO Box number. Its work is believed to be supplemented by a similar organisation called The Pimpernel Trust, which is registered to the Foreign Office, and its objectives are to "relieve the poverty" of former secret intelligence service, diplomatic service and other members of the intelligence community with housing and healthcare.

GCHQ was more forthcoming over the charity that will receive a windfall from Skyfall. A spokeswoman for the agency revealed that the charity supporting its former and serving staff was called the Government Communication Fund.

But there is even less information about this fund, especially as no such operation is registered, at least under that name, with the Charity Commission. The only accounts readily available were for the financial year that ended June 2007.

Calls into the Home Office failed to reveal the name of the third charity to benefit from the charity gala, which is believed to be supporting the Security Service, or MI5.

The intelligence services have been hugely supportive of the latest James Bond film. It is understood that MI6 has taken a much more active role in advising the filmmakers of Skyfall than ever before.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year


Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living