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Our charitable status

Our status as a charity is an important part of what makes us different from many other providers of retirement accommodation and services for older and disabled people.

A particular characteristic of the Trust is its strong financial position, which has allowed the Trust to develop high quality services that are available to a wide range of individuals, regardless of their financial background.

How we are funded

When it was established, the Trust was provided with an endowment fund, which today is invested in agricultural and commercial property and a small proportion of stocks, shares and other investments funds.

The day-to-day operations of the Trust are funded from an annual income that is generated by the endowment, combined with income from residents who are able to cover their own fees.

This formula provides the Trust with an income that is independent of the endowment fund, which supports the Trust's core activities and frees up the endowment income for utilisation in the support of those individuals who cannot pay the full fee.

It means that individuals from a range of different backgrounds can access and benefit from the same high quality services, which are available to all.

The Trust's charitable status

The Trust is registered with Charity Commission, the UK regulatory body for all charitable organisations. One of the key criteria for the evaluation of charitable status is the principle of 'public benefit', which states that the aims of the charity must be for the public benefit and have one or more specified charitable purposes. Further, the aims of the organisation should not be unreasonably restricted by geographical location or an individual's ability to pay.

The Trust's approach to the distribution of its own income, and the requirement that those individuals who are able to fund their own services do so, allows us to meet the requirements of public benefit as set out by the Charity Commission.

The activities of our Trustees are also guided by the Charity Commission's requirements for the running of charitable organisations, the Charity Commission also require the Trust to submit annual audited accounts, and demonstrate that the recruitment of Trustees to the Council complies with the specifications set out in our Trust Deed.

Society of Merchant Venturers

The Trustee Group is made up of 15 individuals who are nominated by representatives of the St Monica Council (6), the Bishops of Bristol, Bath & Wells and Gloucester (3) and by the Society of Merchant Venturers (6). The Society of Merchant Venturers are also responsible for managing the Trust's original endowment fund, bequeathed by Henry Wills on his death in 1922.

The wealth of experience and knowledge that this group of individuals brings to the Trust has had a significant impact on the success of the Trust over the years.