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Our News and Notices


Central - 29 Jan 18 General

In my last update, at the end of October, I anticipated that a few tweaks to the exiting application for Registered Charity status would gain approval by the Charity Commission. Unfortunately, this proved not to be the case.

The Charity Commission does not accept that RNSA as a charity can support both Serving and ex-Service people. We looked at adding a second Charitable Object, centred on promotion of amateur sport, but to succeed this would require us to open all of our facilities to the general public. In addition to fundamentally changing the focus of the Association away from being a Service Sports association, giving people without any connection to the RNRM access to our facilities would be impractical on security grounds.

Over the Christmas period, the group steering the way ahead work, which is led by the Commodore with the Vice-Commodore, Chairman-designated, CIO trustees and General Secretary with my input, has developed 2 options for the future; although one of these may not be viable. In developing these options, we have applied the test that our Commodore set out to us in his letter last year. In short, as measures of success, we must:

• Build on the success of our sailing teams by increasing participation in watersports;
• Stabilise membership, particularly junior membership;
• Provide, where possible, boats where the MOD has withdrawn them;
• Make us compliant with the law and Ministry regulations; andc
• Remove exposure to litigation for Association members arising from our activities.
• Minimise the impact of changes on existing RNSA Members.

The last of these items has been uppermost in our plans. As we now know that we cannot produce a single organisation, registered as a charity, our preferred way ahead is to retain RNSA very much as it currently exists, after over 80-years of development. To achieve the RN’s goal to meet the requirements of the 2011 Charities Act, we plan to create a separate charity – working title the RNSA Foundation – that will own the yachts and dinghies and deliver the sport of sailing for Serving people. This CIO will be free to seek charitable funding and sponsorship to support its work. The core RNSA, which will remain an Unincorporated Association, will be freed from the risks associated with owning and operating boats and will make an annual grant to support the work of the CIO. In practice, ex-serving members of RNSA will see no real change and there we be little of difference, in practice, for Serving people.

Central to the viability of this new arrangement is acceptance by the RN of the existing RNSA retaining its title and rights when a second organisation delivers the role of Service Sailing Association. The Commodore will seek the Naval Secretary’s endorsement of this before we begin the necessary, detailed work to produce a new submission to the Charity Commission.

We have learned much over the last 8-months but, in developing our ideas, we remain focused on the 6 measures of success set out above.

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