"The efforts of our investment management team, legacies, which raised £81,000 of income through the year and the fund-raising efforts of our nine regional committees have all resulted in a very satisfactory year for the Society," said Mr Cowley.

He went on to thank the regional committee members, who are all volunteers, for continuing to raise money for the Society, despite difficult trading conditions, and for visiting beneficiaries.

"These visits are a tangible link between beneficiaries and the Society and we applaud the special effort they make," said Mr Cowley.

He added that payments to beneficiaries were £6,000 up on the previous year, which "raised the bar" for the future but he was confident that additional revenue would be raised in line with this increase.

TTBS beneficiaries were facing more challenges as the government continues to "fine tune" its social welfare payments, he said. And he noted an increase in the number of younger beneficiaries who needed support but who, because of their age, didn’t qualify for state benefits.

Mr Cowley reiterated the request for potential beneficiaries to be suggested to the TTBS.

"The timber trade does lose contact with many former employees, so knowledge of the Society while they are still in work is essential," he said, adding that human resources departments of companies were being encouraged to pass on information on the TTBS.

"We welcome referrals from all quarters," he said.

At the AGM Mr Cowley was re-elected as national president and Robert Bruce was re-elected as national vice-president and treasurer. The trustees were confirmed as Ian North, Ian Menzies, David Francis and Richard Bagnall.