On Wednesday last week (22/6/11) we received notification from the Charity Commission that our application for charitable status in England and Wales had been approved. This is great news. The fact that we will now be regulated by the Charity Commission will give reassurance to future donors – who won’t know us all personally – that we are here for the public good and not for private benefit. There will also be significant tax benefits to us, and those that fund us, in the UK. Our charity number is 1142516.
It has been a long journey to get here and lots of thanks are in order. Firstly to our excellent co-trustees who already have very busy lives but have stepped up to volunteer their time and oversee our activities. The trustees are:
- Andy Chapman (Chair)
- Jane Berry
- Joanna Knowles (Hon Treasurer)
- Rob Ellis
- Simon Berry (me)
I’d like to thank them all and to acknowledge in particular the patience and support of Andy who has mentored us through the process of deciding whether we should be a charity or not! We have not gone into this lightly! Thank you Andy!
The formal process of registration has been really very enjoyable mainly because it’s brought us together with the CSR Team at Allen & Overy LLP in London who have provided the legal support we’ve needed on a pro bono basis. Our relationship with A&O began following my presentation at the Chain Reaction event in November 2009, where we met A&O’s pro bono team Helen Rogers and Sophie Orr and then Jake Lee. Emma Danforth was assigned to our case and drew up our modified Memorandum & Articles of Association [link] and did the detailed negotiation with the Charity Commission. A very big thank you to you all. Your support is really appreciated.
I am very pleased to say that our relationship with Allen & Overy LLP continues as they help us with the development of the various MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) that we need for the ColaLife Trial.