Administering the Trust’s funds
The Abhayaratna Trust was registered in the UK under Charitable Law (Number 1126494) in October 2008. The definition of the work of the Trust, as registered with the Charity Commission, is:
“To relieve financial hardship among members of the Triratna Buddhist Order, particularly in the face of sickness, old age or disability”
The Trustees aim to keep costs low and the trust does not rent any premises. Travel expenses are paid to Trustees for attending meetings four times a year, and the Secretary is employed to work 15 hours a week.
Dharmachari Abhayaratna was the first Order Member to leave a legacy for the benefit of the Order.
Abhayaratna was an unassuming man in many ways and not someone who cared about money. He was never rich, and yet he left what he had to benefit the Order he loved.
Abhayaratna might seem an unlikely source for this first legacy. Like other early members of the Order, he was part of an ‘alternative scene’. He gained a heavy vehicles license so that he could drive trucks to Peace Festivals as part of his commitment to non-violence.
Abhayaratna lived on a low income in a ‘squat’ in Kings Cross, London. He gained tenant’s rights on the flat, resisting all attempts by the Council to remove him and eventually was bought out – which gave him enough money to buy a small house in Birmingham. There he worked as a gardener and gave his time to helping people in many practical ways.
By the autumn of 2005, Abhayaratna had been ill for some time. He needed a liver transplant. Mahamati went with him and his sister to the hospital for a consultation and briefing. Shortly after this, Abhayaratna phoned Mahamati to say that he was making a new will and wanted to leave money to the Order. Abhayaratna died on December 25, 2005. His estate, amounting to £50,000, went to found the Trust which now bears his name.