Revitalising Trusts to support local communities in South Yorkshire

Local charities make up the lifeblood of our communities and make a daily difference to millions of people. The Revitalising Trusts initiative, announced in the Government’s Civil Society strategy, will provide a huge boost to local charities by distributing funds from inactive trusts to good causes.

There are many charitable trust funds in England and Wales that are inactive. The original founders and trustees may have passed away and many of the funds are now relatively small pots of money which makes it difficult to ensure they have a meaningful and local impact. Collectively these trusts amount to a significant amount which could make a huge difference to local communities.

The Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission are working with UK Community Foundations to transfer up to £20million of inactive trusts to Community Foundations to invest into local communities. It is expected that this will provide an extra £1million in grant funding to local community and voluntary groups every year.

South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) has worked in revitalizing dormant trusts for many years. The Samuel Roberts Trust Grassroots Endowment Fund is one such trust transfer that SYCF has enabled to continue impacting positively on people’s lives.

Fund holder, Sir Samuel Roberts said: “I was impressed and thrilled to get the latest report on the Samuel Roberts Fund. Thank you all so much for keeping what was originally ‘The Aged Female Society’ funds in such fine shape. I will circulate the reports you recently sent to me around my family whom I know will be delighted to see you helping so many people. The grants you have given would undoubtedly have been fully supported by my great-great-great grandfather.”

Community Foundations are established, trusted charities that support local communities across the UK. Community Foundations reach every postcode in the UK and focus on the most pressing needs in an area and are leading grant makers and have a strong track record of supporting communities. They are reliable with a trusted model of delivery and are all quality accredited.

The Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society have chosen to work with Community Foundations based on their expertise and experience in supporting communities and ensuring that funds are distributed well to tackle local need.

Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch said, ‘this initiative will make a real difference to people and communities across the country. By working with UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission, we will honour the original aims of these now-inactive charitable trusts by redistributing funds to help those that need it most.”

Chief Executive of South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF), Ruth Willis said: “The new revitalising trusts initiative is welcome news and will have a hugely positive impact on local communities. SYCF is an expert in bringing new life to dormant trusts and this is an exciting opportunity to use our knowledge to ensure that more local communities benefit from funding.”

Fabian French, CEO of UK Community Foundations said: “We are delighted to be working with the Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission to unlock these inactive trusts to benefit local communities for years to come. We have developed a simple solution that helps inactive trusts transfer their assets which meets all the required Charity Commission approvals.”