You may have noticed some changes recently to our details on the website. On the 1st January the charity changed its legal status to become a charitable company limited by guarantee. The Benevolent Fund (as we were previously known) was established back in 1841 (by virtue of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain) and went on to register officially with the Charity Commission in 1963, under the registration number 221438.
Until the 1st January this year we were an unincorporated charity, which in effect meant that the board of trustees were jointly and severally liable for the liabilities and activities of the charity. This structure is now considered a very out of date way to operate and so the existing board took the decision to modernise our legal structure by applying for charitable company status. This means that the charity is now registered with both the Charity Commission (under a new number, 1158974) and also Companies House (Company number 09237609) and that we now have two sets of legislation with which to comply, those being, charity law and company law. From the 1st January 2015 our year end statutory accounts will be lodged with both regulators and will be accessible to the public from either.
Benefits of incorporation
This decision has a number of benefits for the charity: incorporation gives the charity a legal personality of its own that can conduct business in its own name (as opposed to in the name of trustees), which in turn streamlines our administration processes (making it less onerous to conduct business) whilst also providing a limit to the personal liabilities for the Trustees.
What this means for you as a service user, donor or supporter is very little in reality – simply a change of registration details and an assurance that we are backed up by the regulatory elements of both company and charity law. We are still the same charity providing the same support services to benefit the profession. Our new charity details are as follows:
Pharmacist Support is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 9237609 and charity number 1158974.