Major constitutional change for PSC Support.
When PSC Support was formed in 1995, it was a tiny patient support group and activities primarily focused around running one patient meeting a year and a producing a printed newsletter. It was registered as a charity in 2005 (registration number 1115615). In 2017, PSC Support was completely different organisation, and its old constitution was no longer fit for purpose.
PSC Support had become the leading charity for people with PSC. As a purely volunteer organisation, we wanted to deliver more on the scope of work we do, and in a more timely manner. Whilst our income through the splendid work of our fundraisers had grown, our ability to scale our work had not, relying on a small number of key volunteers. We needed to change how we structured PSC Support, and how it operated.
In 2017, the Trustees of PSC Support took professional advice on transforming PSC Support into a new legal entity termed a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO). A CIO is a legal entity that has the ability to employ staff, and also protect the trustees from the direct liability associated with our current status as an unincorporated association. Our goal was to employ someone to help Martine Walmsley, Chair of Trustees and volunteer, with our advocacy, support, education and awareness, and above all, our research work.
The first formal step in the transition towards becoming a CIO was to align the goals of the CIO to the unincorporated association. This ensured that all assets transferred from the unincorporated association would be used in the same way in the new CIO.
The CIO was then set up in October 2017 and the assets transferred in February 2018. This means that the CIO can become and operate as PSC Support, but with a modern relevant constitution and new charity registration number (1175427).
Martine Walmsley, Chair of Trustees, said. "Changing PSC Support to a CIO has taken many, many hours of work to ensure the change was conducted in the proper manner. Everything we do is about improving the lives of PSC patients, and the Trustees are absolutely committed to finding a curative treatment. But the fact of the matter is we could be doing more. We need research accelerated, we need better quality and equitable access to care, and we need the emotional impact of PSC to be acknowledged and addressed. Our biggest barrier to achieving more has been our own constitution. We would not be here today without the time and effort of our wonderful volunteers, and they are and always will be our most valued asset. Our next step is to employ someone to help develop and deliver our work programmes, and becoming a CIO has been a vital step to help PSC Support’s sustainability and growth."