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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Foundation closes as charity group restructures

This news post is about 1 year old

No jobs will be shed

The Big Issue Foundation is to close as its parent group goes ahead with a reorganisation.

The Big Issue Group will merge its charity and trading operations in a bid to help more people during the cost-of-living crisis.

The Foundation will now close with staff moving to others areas within the group.

A new community interest company will be created called Changing Lives CIC.

t said in a statement that the CIC had been created after sales and frontline staff worked closely together to handle the impact of Covid-19.

The Big Issue said: “During the pandemic, the two teams worked as one to provide urgent support to vendors who were unable to sell. 

“As society continues to change rapidly, with changing work patterns, shopping patterns and the growth in cashless society the sales and outreach support of vendors will need to adapt quickly and this will be best delivered through one combined team.”

The charity helped just over 1,100 Big Issue vendors last year with issues including housing, financial advice and wellbeing support.

Alison Newman, chair of trustees at the Big Issue Foundation, said: “As trustees our responsibility is to steward the foundation to the best of our abilities.  

“The landscape has changed significantly over recent years forcing us to think hard about the optimal way to support vendors. 

“After extensive conversations with Big Issue Group over recent months, we have agreed to move towards a new chapter for vendor support and we are proud that we pass the foundation onto the CIC in such good shape.”



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Gareth Morgan
about 1 year ago

I'm all in favour of charity and non-profit groups reviewing their structure from time to time, but if Big Issue are proposing to get rid of the charitable foundation this could well be illegal and it would certainly affect future support.

A charity cannot wind up and transfer its remaining funds to a non-charitable body such as a CIC (except in very rare circumstances with the consent of charity regulators). They could perhaps spend all the existing funds in the foundation and then wind it up, but if so they will lose any scope to receive charitable grants and donations in future for the clearly charitable parts of their work that focus on vendor welfare.

Perhaps there is some detail that's not been made clear in the announcment, but this looks like something where the Charity Commission may need to intervene.

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