The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has become the first students' union in the country to register as a charity with the Charity Commission.
This new status comes at the end of two years worth of work and will help the Union form better working relationships with local community groups and bid for funding for projects to develop cohesion between students and the wider community. The Union has already successfully secured a £15,000 grant from the City Council to work with older residents in the community.
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. We submitted our application pack before any other students' union and getting the charity number was a huge success for the whole team”.
The change was prompted by the Charities Act 2006 which meant that all student unions were required to change their legal status. Portsmouth is proud to have completed this task first and been accepted as a fully registered charity on the first available day. Being registered formally as a charity allows the union to access funds from a number of new sources including public and private sector initiatives, additional fundraising and a number of different grant schemes.