After a number of years of waiting for the process to begin, students’ unions have finally started to register as fully fledged charities with the Charity Commission.
From the passage of the Charities Act 2006, NUS have been working closely with the commission, leading lawyers and accountants to provide expert advice and support to students’ unions.
As part of this work, NUS has produced model governing documents which have been designated as approved documents, key advice on the implementation of the charity SORP and resources around incorporation.
Richard Budden, Vice President Union Development at NUS said “This is the culmination of a long process and allows great opportunities for students’ unions to refocus on real membership engagement, maximising participation and access to new funding streams. Our resources and close work with the major bodies has allowed students’ unions to enter the charity sector as major players. ”
On 1 June 2010, the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union became the first student union in the England and Wales to register with the Charity Commission.
Steve Topazio, the President of the Union said “Being the first students' union in the country to receive a charity number demonstrates that Portsmouth is really a forward looking union. This change means that we now are recognised as existing for the advancement of education as well as representing students, organising sporting, social and cultural activities and offering personal development opportunities."