Final Reminder for members to comment on draft proposals

New Tristan Association Constitution Consultation

Tristan Association Membership Consultation

Feedback by 29th February Deadline please
Downloadable PDF and feedback details below

Making the TDCA a charity

The association committee have decided to proceed to apply to the Charity Commission to register the entire Tristan da Cunha Association as an Unincorporated Association Charity. Using as a template the Charity Commission’s recommended Unincorporated Association Constitution, a draft constitution has been prepared and consultations started with officers and the Tristan Island Council.

Initial work was carried out by the co-chairs who liaised closely with former Vice-Chair Guy Marriott who is a qualified solicitor and has a senior position in a large UK charity. We are now opening up this consultation to the general membership as we move towards the AGM on 18th April when a vote will be taken to adopt the new constitution. This will, in fact, be the first formal constitution of the TDCA.

It will be a daunting task to read the whole constitution and feedback comments. Whilst there may be members with a legal background wanting to do so, it needs to be emphasised that the Charity Commission’s model constitution template is what they expect an association to follow. Apparent anomalies are there for a good reason. So, whilst we presently have two co-chairs and both a Secretary and a Meetings Secretary, the constitution states that we will have a Chair and Secretary only. In practice a Chair (John Cooper will normally chair meetings) and Secretary (Jim Kerr) will act in these roles, especially in liaison with the Charity Commission. There are also references to employees and property which will seem to be unnecessary for our small charity. Guy has advised us that by leaving these references in we are ready for any future developments that are unforeseen presently.

What is crucial is that interested members read the first section containing the TDCA’s Objects.

Here we attempt to list the purpose of the TDCA, closely following those charitable objects that concur with those that the Charity Commission will need to see we aim to follow. The resulting list considerably extends the short Mission Statement that has stood the TDCA in good stead in past years and aims to enter into a clearer partnership with the Tristan community through the Island Council.

It is proposed that the existing Tristan Education Trust Fund will be amalgamated into the new structure, with an Education Fund kept separately for accounting purposes, with protected capital to ensure the aims of the trust are upheld and hoping to reach the target of £100,000 soon.

There are several advantages of the whole TDCA becoming a registered charity: We will need single audited accounts and not two as at present; all income from UK taxpayers will attract UK Gift aid, including subscriptions as well as donations; the scope of the objects means we can be more flexible in supporting the Tristan community according to need.

Therefore, we hope to have support from members in reading and commenting on the draft by 29th February 2020 before hopefully adopting the final draft in April so that the committee can then proceed to apply for charitable status for the TDCA. We hope this will be in place by the autumn ready to begin the 2021 accounting year as a unified charitable association.

Downloadable Constitution: Draft Tristan Association Constitution (PDF)

Comments should be sent by email to Co-Chair John Cooper
- email
by 29th February 2020