The Span Trust - Objects

The charity’s objects are, for the benefit of the public

(1)  to advance urban regeneration through the improvement of the built environment in areas of social and economic deprivation, in particular (but not by way of limitation), through the provision, maintenance or improvement of public amenities for the benefit of the local community;

(2)  to relieve poverty, disability, age or ill health through the carrying out of or provision of support for building projects which alleviate the charitable needs of individuals, those who care for them and their dependents;

(3)  to provide public recreational space or facilities for the benefit of the local community and to provide assistance to schools, hospitals, care homes and other institutions furthering charitable purposes; and

(4)  such other exclusively charitable purposes as the trustees see fit

in particular but not exclusively within London and surrounding areas.

Object (1)

As you can see, the first object falls under the heading urban regeneration. The charity intends to carry out the following activities in advancing this object:

·  (a) Providing assistance to people in poverty

Span Trust will provide assistance to communities in poverty by working with members of economically deprived communities to improve their local built environment, leading to their greater well-being, improved quality of life, local regeneration and improved enjoyment of their local environment. Working with committees of local people (and with the agreement of local authorities and other parties where necessary) Span Trust will provide technical, design and construction assistance as well as financial and other material support to plan and deliver construction projects which meet community needs. Projects in impoverished areas are intended to include

o  construction of play and recreation areas near schools or hospitals;

o  improving existing public spaces (both open spaces and public access areas between existing structures) through application of principles of good design and remodelling and reconfiguring the spaces through planting, street furniture, lighting and otherwise reconstructing tired, run-down or impoverished spaces for the benefit of the local community; and

o  design and construction of new community buildings and facilities for public use.

There are many deprived areas of London inhabited predominantly by people in poverty (for example, areas such as the Tottenham regeneration area) which require significant redevelopment and improvement and which are in great need of the technical design and construction expertise and material assistance offered by Span Trust. The needs of areas such as these are specifically recognised in public policy. See also Object (2).

·  (b) Provide, maintain and improve recreational facilities; and (c) provide public amenities

Working with deprived communities to determine and fulfil their local needs in accordance with high standards of technical design and construction, the charity will provide, improve and maintain public facilities, recreational spaces and other community amenities to provide local people with places to meet, exercise, relax, play and for their general utility. In this way, the charity will improve the health and well being and quality of life of inhabitants of the local community and foster increased community engagement with and sense of ownership of their local built environment.

·  (d) Other activities

In carrying out the activities described above and in Object (2) (see below), Span Trust will carry out a number of other activities recognised by the Commission’s guidance on urban and rural regeneration, including helping to improve housing standards in areas with recognised deprivation and preserving buildings in the area with historic or cultural importance.

Deprived areas will be carefully and identified objectively through assessment criteria set out below (see ‘Selection of areas in need of regeneration’).

Object (2)

Object two clearly falls under the relief of those in charitable need purpose. Span Trust intends to improve the homes of people with specific, identified charitable needs (poverty, ill health, disability or age) by agreeing with individuals and their families, carers and dependents specified schedules of works which will address and alleviate their particular needs. For example, where elderly people become frail by reason of old age, their homes may need modification to assist them continue to live in their homes as safely and little impeded by their old age as possible. Similarly, disabled people and people in ill health and their carers and dependents commonly require works to their houses to assist both those in need and their carers and dependents. Span Trust may assist by providing or funding provision of stair lifts, or improved wheelchair access or equivalent modifications and improvements to the living environment of people in need.

In all cases, the Span Trust intends to establish by objective and reliable means testing that beneficiaries are unable to afford to pay for the works themselves and, but for the charity, may not obtain the improvements to their homes they require. Beneficiaries under Object (2) will be selected though:

·  a needs assessment, specifying the charitable need to be alleviated, where possible based upon clinical or other professional, independent, third party opinions; combined with

·  an objective reliable means assessment, including evidence of inability to pay for the proposed works (such as bank statements, dependency on income support or other financial hardship) to alleviate the identified need.

Object (3)

Object three falls under two clearly recognised charitable purposes in law: (a) the provision of recreational space or facilities for the benefit of the local community (the general public) and (b) supporting the efficiency and effectiveness of charities, as described by the Charity Commission in guidance RR14. Purpose (a) will involve acquiring, improving and providing public spaces for the recreation and well-being of members of the local community. It is a well-recognised charitable purpose in its own right. Purpose (b) will involve supporting the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration and infrastructure of existing charities. For example, Span Trust intends to assist:

·  Fleet Primary School, NW3 – to install photo-voltaic panels to help with the energy costs of running the school (an exempt charity). An additional benefit is that it will also educate the children in energy efficiency and sustainable sources of energy, because the school intends to involve the children in logging the energy produced from the panels. The assistance is clearly focused on the effective attainment of the objects of the charity (the provision of education). The charity will not charge for its services. As a result the purpose clearly falls within RR14, Annex A.

·  Nightingale Hammerson care home, SW12 – external refurbishment of part of the building which is falling into disrepair, including re-rendering providing a new roof for a care home that is a registered charity. The charity means tests its residents and has a mix of paying and non-paying residents. The assistance is clearly focused on the effective attainment of the objects of the charity (the provision of care to elderly people). The charity will not charge for its services. As a result the purpose clearly falls within RR14, Annex A.

Object (4)

Object (4) is a typical grant-making charitable purpose. As well as the specific purposes set out above, the trustees intend to support diverse charitable causes by means of grants and similar support. In order to assist you understand how they propose to consider charitable causes, we have provided you with a draft grant-making policy which the trustees intend to adopt. We trust you will see this is a framework within which it will be clear that the trustees will operate in accordance with their objects and within charity law generally.

Public benefit

Public benefit in present in both senses:


The public benefit in Object (1) can be measured by use of the improved amenity or facility. With existing sites there may be obvious comparables (where data exists) between previous usage (numbers of visitors, duration of visit etc) which would evidence increased public use and a beneficial impact on the community, but inevitably much of the public benefit will be qualitative and difficult to quantify. An analogy could be drawn with a clean footpath compared to a dirty footpath. If the footpath is on the route to the shops or transport hub, the footfall may be no greater when it is cleaned up (improved) but there is no doubt that a public benefit has occurred. In order to assess qualitative outcomes such as these, site visits, interviews with local residents and other means of gauging public opinion may be appropriate.

The public benefit in Object (2) is inherent in the benefit provided to the person in need, his or her carers or dependants. Before engaging in specific works, the trustees (or persons authorised by them for this purpose) would conduct a needs assessment which would lead to a proposed schedule of works, which would include an assessment of how the works alleviate the identified needs. If the works are successful, the fact that the charitable need identified is alleviated directly or indirectly through the work is a charitable outcome which does not require detailed measurement.

The public benefit in Object (3) is delivered through (a) the public access to open spaces for their leisure, relaxation, exercise and improvement of their well-being and (b) the public benefits to the beneficial classes of the charities supported.

The public benefit in Object (3) is the support of diverse charitable causes in accordance with the grants policy.

No detriment is anticipated under any of the objects.


The class of beneficiaries under each object is public.

Private benefit

Any private benefit to individual members of the community under Object (1) is incidental to the public benefit served by the provision of the improved public space to all members of the local community. Benefits to local inhabitants can be justified as being necessary and reasonable in the circumstances, given the identification of economic or social deprivation in all areas worked in.

Any private benefit to co-habitants of homes improved under Object (2) will be purely necessary, incidental and reasonable in the circumstances of the need alleviated by the works. Because the works are to be predominantly aimed at alleviating the charitable need identified (directly or through alleviating needs of carers or dependents), works are not expected to lead to a significant rise in house value. Where residents are not the owners of their homes, Span Trust will take steps to ensure that the residents whom the charity wishes to assist have reasonable security of tenure and are not vulnerable to rent hikes, if necessary by seeking guarantees from landlords or similar assurance.

Neither Span Group nor its employees, contractors or others connected with Span Group nor Span Trust’s trustees or persons connected with them are expected benefit from projects of this kind.

Selection of areas in need of regeneration

The trustees anticipate that some or all of the following criteria will be used determine whether areas identified for projects under Object (1) are ‘areas of social economic deprivation’.


Deprivation is often measured by levels of income. Through the use of data from the Office of National Statistics it is possible to assess the percentage of people within a defined area receiving income support and Jobseekers Allowance. High levels of such support will indicate that the population in a certain area is experiencing social and economic deprivation.

Population Density/Rapid Population Growth

Population density and rapid population growth can both serve as useful indicators that an area is or is becoming susceptible to social economic deprivation. Rapid population growth is a major contributing factor leading to economic hardship. It is often the poorer districts of London which receive an influx of people unable to bear the costs of living elsewhere. Population changes of this sort generate significant pressure on local resources including the built environment and the facilities and amenities the charity will aim to support and improve. Population density and growth statistics are qualified by high densities and growth in central London and affluent areas. However, used in conjunction with house price data, population statistics are a powerful indicator of economic and social deprivation (in other words, high population density in areas with low house prices is a good indicator of social and economic deprivation and the need for charitable interventions like those offered by Span Trust). Detailed house price data is obtainable from the House Price Index (Land Registry) and commercial providers of data.

Single Parents (Family characteristics)

A higher proportion of single-parent families in a given area is often a good indicator of social economic deprivation. Single parent families are one of the groups most vulnerable to poverty and are more likely to be on income support. Recent statistics (Office National Statistics) have highlighted that Children in single parent families are twice as likely as children in couple families to live in relative poverty. Over four in every 10 (43 per cent) children in single parent families are poor, compared to just over two in 10 (22 per cent) of children in couple families (17).

Crime Rates

Crime rates are significantly higher in areas of social economic deprivation where poverty and lack of opportunities can drive individuals into crime. Crime rates based on official police recorded crime reports can be accessed through the Metropolitan Police Service . This service can be searched for a specific area and comparisons made to national rates.

Food Banks

Recent Government reports have highlighted that Food Banks have seen a considerable rise in users in Greater London over the last year. The Trussell Trust stated in April 2014 that a third of resources were given to repeat visitors but that there was a significant 51% rise in clients to established food banks. Evidence of a particularly high demand on local food banks is a good indicator that an area is suffering from economic deprivation.