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Charitable Trusts “General Need To Knows” from the perspective of a new Trustee joining a Charitable Trust

Our Partner, Chad Danswan, was excited to be invited recently to join as a trustee of the Cambridge Community House Charitable Trust. He reflects on his recent appointment particularly with respect to the importance of understanding the purpose and applicable legislation which come with being a trustee and shares his thoughts to assist others who are not lawyers who may be on, or considering joining, a Charitable Trust.

People usually join as a trustee of a Charitable Trust because they align with the purpose of that Trust and the same guiding principle was why Harkness Henry Partner, Chad Danswan, was excited to be invited to become a trustee of the Cambridge Community House Charitable Trust.  As a lawyer he knows that becoming a trustee is not a decision to be reached lightly.  In making that decision, it is essential to understand both the purpose of the trust and the legislation which applies.

The charitable purpose driving the Cambridge Community House is to make positive changes with the people of Cambridge, by providing support, education and resources. Specifically, this Charitable Trust provides support regarding alcohol and other drugs counselling, 24/7 generalised counselling services, CV writing services, financial mentoring, food support, healthcare support, school uniform services, support for families services along with facilitating relationships with other local social service providers.

If you are wanting to get involved with an existing Charitable Trust or if you are interested in starting your own – it is important you understand how legislation affects your duties as someone party to or wanting to establish a Charitable Trust. Notably, the new Trusts Act 2019 came into force in January 2021 and it applies to all trusts – including Charitable Trusts. It is important trustees are aware of this Act, along with the existing Charitable Trusts Act 1957, so you can understand how legislation may impact on your activities and decisions.

Here at Harkness Henry, we understand the importance of getting behind your community and making a difference. We can provide guidance to ensure your Charitable Trust has all the right systems in place to comply with the relevant legislation and that all trustees are aware of their duties – that way you can focus on what’s important, like running the charity itself. Give us a call or email one of our friendly team members with trust experience such as Matthew Peploe, Sandra Braithwaite, Chad Danswan and Sharnae Aben if you would like further information or assistance in this regard.

For further information

Harkness Henry Cambridge

Chad Danswan

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