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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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Charity requirements

13.1.1 Persons not allowed to act as Trustees Members of the Group, District and County Trustee Boards are the 'charity trustees' of the Group, District or County. No person who is disqualified from being a charity trustee by virtue of the Charities Act may be a member of a Group, District or County Trustee Board.

The appointment of any such person, whether as ex officio, by nomination, by election or by co-option shall be void. It is the responsibility of each person to ensure that they are not disqualified before accepting an appointment as a trustee. The Charities Acts apply to England and Wales only. Scotland SV, Northern Ireland, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Gibraltar have similar, but not identical, legislation. Some people are disqualified by law from acting as charity trustees. The exact requirements vary by nation but, subject to regulatory waiver provisions, the Scouts’ adopts the following criteria for disqualification to a role with Trustee responsibilities.  This includes anyone for whom at least one of these conditions is true: SV 

  1. has an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception
  2. has unspent convictions for the offences of misconduct in a public office
  3. has unspent convictions for bribery, or money laundering, or perjury or perverting the course of justice or terrorism
  4. has been found guilty of attempting, aiding or abetting the above offences
  5. has been found in contempt of court
  6. is designated under terrorist asset-freezing legislation
  7. is on the sex offenders’ register
  8. is currently declared bankrupt (or is subject to bankruptcy restrictions or an interim order or sequestration in Scotland) or has an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) with creditors
  9. is disqualified from being a company director
  10. has previously been removed as a trustee from any charity by any charity regulator in the UK (or a court) due to misconduct or mismanagement
  11. is disqualified from being a trustee by an order of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

13.1.2 The Charities Acts SV 13.1.2 applies in England and Wales only. All Scout Units are separate charities. Scout Units are not required to register with the Charity Commission as they have been ‘excepted’ under The Charities (Exception from Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. Scout charities in England and Wales only have to register with the Charity Commission if any of the following is true:

  1. their annual income is more than £100,000
  2. they have permanent endowment (a rare interest in land or building or other assets which cannot be spent as ‘income’) and their annual income is £5,000 or over; 
  3. they own land or buildings and their income is £5,000 or over.

It is important to note that, apart from not having to register or make annual returns, excepted charities must comply with charity law. Trustees of excepted charities have the same responsibilities as trustees of any other charity.

13.1.3 Safe Custody of Documents SV The Group, District or County Secretary must ensure that documents relating to the ownership of property and equipment and all other legal and official documents, together with any documents of historical importance or interest are kept in a safe place. Specific documents that must be safeguarded are:

  1. declarations of trust
  2. title deeds to land or buildings
  3. stock and share certificates
  4. registration documents issued by The Scout Association
  5. documents relating to motor vehicles, vessels and aircraft
  6. insurance policies. Those charities who have appointed the SATC to hold title to land may use this service to safeguard the first three document types. By law, these must be hard copy original documents. The Group, District or County Trustee Board administration must keep a register of such documents with details of their location.