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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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Role of the SATC

The SATC is a company created to hold title to land as a Custodian Trustee on behalf of Scout Units (Groups, Districts and Counties). Although it was initiated by The Scout Association, the SATC is not owned or controlled by the Association and has its own separate Board of Directors.

The SATC aims to take the burden from Scout Units having to find individual local 'Holding Trustees' to hold title to their land whilst also ensuring continuity and ease of administration. The SATC holds approximately 5,000 properties in this way.

It must be stressed that as Custodian Trustee the SATC cannot and does not have any responsibility for the management of the Scout Unit or its premises/land, including making any decisions regarding the land. This remains the responsibility of the Executive Committee of the said scout unit, also referred to as the 'Managing' or 'Charity' Trustees.

The SATC is a signatory to any substantive transaction relating to the Scout Unit's land and can only undertake this where matters/documentation comply with charity and other laws. Please note, the SATC requires that certain standard clauses confirming its role are inserted wherever necessary (see further below).

If a Scout Unit wishes to appoint the SATC to hold title to their land then the matter must be placed before the SATC Board.  This is done by email usually at the end of the month but can be put into effect quicker when urgent.

Unless there are particular questions arising, the SATC will accept custodian trusteeship and give permission for documents to be finalised as when they arise subject to all the proper checks and balances being put in place. We will need the below in order to place matters before the Board.

(a) Application form

The Scout Unit need to send us a completed application form. This is a required formality for the file.

(b) Letter of Request

The Scout unit will have to formally request the SATC to act as Custodian Trustees in relation to the land. This will need to be done by sending us a Letter of the Request (Word), preferably completed by the Scout Unit's Secretary and returned to us.

The letter records the Resolution whereby the Scout Unit's Executive Committee agreed:

(i) to appoint the SATC to hold title as Custodian Trustee

(ii) that the named Scout Unit takes the formal legal interest in the land

(iii) that the Scout Unit, as opposed to the SATC, will be fully responsible for the management of the premises/land. As the SATC can only act as Custodian Trustees in relation to the land, it cannot be held responsible or any liabilities arising thereof.

(c) Background information

When returning the Letter of Request, the Scout unit should also send us a brief background outlining the history of the matter up until now, the address, purchase/rent price and any other relevant background information.

(d) Agreed draft lease or agreed Heads of Terms

The main terms, as agreed with the landlord, must also be forwarded to us. This may be in the form of a draft lease or agreed Heads of Terms.

Once the SATC Board has agreed to act as Custodian Trustee, the Scout unit will have to pay an acceptance fee of £500 plus VAT or £450 plus VAT (if the Scout Unit insures its building through Scout Insurance Services).

The SATC acceptance fee is payable after the SATC accepts trusteeship. We will request the fee as and when it becomes due. The SATC acceptance fee is payable each time the Scout Unit appoints the Board to act as Custodian Trustee, which will include lease renewals.

The Scout Unit, and not the SATC, is responsible for any legal or surveyor fees it incurs.

The SATC will require its standard SATC clauses (Leasehold) (Word) to be incorporated into the lease in order to sign and seal documents and act as Custodian Trustee. The Scout Unit should send these clauses to the landlord or, if it has one, its solicitor.

By way of further assistance, here is some standard information regarding the role of our Legal Services Department.

Role of our Legal Services Department

As well as acting as solicitor for UKHQ and The Scout Association Trust Corporation (SATC), which holds title to approx. 5,000 properties, the Legal Services Department deal with all other general legal queries, from members and Scout Units to UKHQ. Due to the logistics involved, we are only able to provide general legal advice to members and Scout Units and will of course assist as far as possible in this regard. Fortunately, most issues do get resolved this way. However, where more detailed assessment is required or there are any doubts about the legalities involved, we advise members to consider instructing a local solicitor.

Obtaining detailed legal advice in most property matters is always advisable and, in many cases, accruing legal costs will be unavoidable for Scout Units from the onset eg in sales or purchases of land or where any court proceedings are already underway. In other matters, we encourage that if possible all attempts are made to resolve matters quickly and amicably with a view to avoiding any undue legal costs arising.

We look forward to hearing further and to receiving the completed Letter of Request, the background information and the agreed terms of the lease.