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
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Arts and Entertainment
Crowd control: institutions like New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are packed

Art
Arts and Entertainment
Cillian Murphy stars as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices