History

As its name implies, Cambridge United Charities is a combination of many charities which have operated in Cambridge for many years. As well as the Almshouse Branch the trustees manage investments in the Relief in Need Branch, the income from which is to be “expended on the poor and needy of the City and upon the young”

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One of the historic buildings in possession of the Charity is the St Radegund pub, which was built near the site of the ancient St Radegund convent (where Jesus College now stands).

Origins of Cambridge United Charities

The Charity was set up by deed on 24 July 1970 to administer the following charities:
The Consolidated Almshouses Charity
The Charity of Edward Chapman
The Charity of Richard Chevyn
The Charity of John Crane
The Charity of Lambert Damps
The Charity of Thomas Ellys
The Charity of Thomas Johnson
The Charity of William Mott
The Charity of Sir Thomas White
The Charity of Thomas Hobson
The Charity of Roger Roe
The Charity of Stephen Mansfield
The Charity of Emily Wood

Governance

On 9th December 2014 the Charity Commission made a supplementary scheme (ref. 879/1415) whereby a number of amendments were made to the 1970 Scheme, which allow CUC greater administrative flexibility in the allocation of funds to qualifying almspeople (as redefined) and under Relief in Need where the definition of persons entitled to benefit has also been redefined.

This is the result of several years of work with the Charity Commission to achieve a more up-to-date governing document which, amongst other issues, takes account of the fact that Cambridge City Council has withdrawn from its responsibility for the governance of the Charity, having identified a conflict of interests. Due to this circumstance, changes were necessary regarding the appointment of Trustees to the Board. It also seemed appropriate to limit the period that a Trustee may serve on the Board.

The full Board currently consists of twelve Trustees who manage the Charity and are appointed to a four year term of office that can be renewed once (some of the present Trustees were still appointed under the old Scheme with terms of five years). Nine of the Trustees are so-called ‘co-opted’ Trustees who are citizens of Cambridge or surrounding areas. There are also four ‘nominated’ Trustees; two of them are appointed by the Cambridge Central Aid Society and two further Trustees are appointed by Cambridge University.

There are three ordinary Board meetings per year, with the provision for additional special meetings, should the need arise. The Board is chaired by the Chair, who is elected from the membership of the Board every year.
The same is true for the Vice Chair, the Almshouse Trustee, and the Finance Trustee.

The Finance Trustee works closely with the Charity’s Treasurer to ensure sound financial management and ongoing probity. The Board is supported by a secretary and clerk who minutes the Board meetings and attends to the Charity’s administrative needs and duties.

The Board has established two Sub-committees, both responsible to the Board, which meet between Board Meetings and prepare recommendations to the Board. They are:

  1. The Resources Sub-committee, which is currently chaired by Steven Morris, the representative of Cambridge University.
  2. The Almshouse Sub-committee, which is chaired by the Almshouse Trustee.

Both Sub-Committees have agreed terms of reference.

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