On the 17th March 2022 a 2/3rd majority of Halifax Society for the Blind (224258) members at a special general meeting voted to change our status from an unincorporated charity to a charitable incorporated organisation and to transfer all HSBs holdings to the new Halifax Society for the Blind CIO. From the 1st April 2022 our entity name is now Halifax Society for the Blind CIO (197353).
What change is being proposed and why?
HSB was an unincorporated charity. This means that HSB’s trustees were liable for anything that might go wrong in running an organisation which holds responsibilities for buildings, staff, volunteers, and vulnerable people. While good policies and procedures can help with reducing the risk of financial loss arising from trusteeship of our charity, there is no way of eliminating this unless a way is found to limit this liability. Also, as an unincorporated charity, our building(s) had to be held in the name of certain individual trustees who may change over time, but a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) owns the building which makes things much simpler.
The Executive Committee (trustees) have been working on this since last summer with an experienced consultant, and the new CIO was registered by the Charity Commission on 5 January 2022.
By changing the work of HSB to operate through the CIO from 1st April, HSB will limit that liability in a similar way to being a limited company yet maintain the key features and advantages of a charity, including democratic controls, our charitable mission, and access to grants and Gift Aid for donations.
Will the change impact the services HSB offers?
No – becoming a CIO won’t change our services to our community or our charitable objectives. We’ll still be a charity, and we’ll continue providing the best sight loss support services we can.
Will the change affect my rights as a Member?
Not much. You are now a member of Halifax Society for the Blind and as such you are also now a member of Halifax Society for the Blind CIO. We will still have an AGM with member-based scrutiny of HSB’s work, future plans and elections to the Board will still occur annually.
Could this change or invalidate legacies made to HSB?
No. Much of our work is funded through gifts left in legacies, so we are taking measures to ensure that gifts left to our charity Halifax Society for the Blind get passed to Halifax Society for the Blind CIO. However, if you are kindly thinking of leaving a legacy to HSB in future, please ask your solicitor to use the new name: Halifax Society for the Blind CIO – registered charity 1197353.
We look forward to working with you all and our wider community for the future.