1. The name of the Fund is the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust Benevolent Fund, hereinafter called the Fund.
2. The object of the Fund is the relief of poverty, sickness and distress among its members;
(a) by making cash allowances for charitable specific purposes
(b) by making a grant or an allowance for the purchase of equipment, medical treatment and care
3. The Fund is a registered charity and is established for charitable purposes only.
4. Membership of the Fund is open to all employees of the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust.
5. The annual subscription shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and may be paid annually in advance from 1st April each year or by 12 monthly deductions from a member's salary.
6. Any member who is three months in arrears with his/her subscription shall be deemed to have cancelled his/her membership.
7. A person who is a serving member of the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust and who has fully paid his/her subscription shall be entitled to attend and vote at all general meetings of members of the Fund and shall eligible for election to office in the Fund. The management of the Fund shall be vested in the Committee of Management (the committee) whose powers and duties are more particularly set out in the subsequent clauses of this constitution.
8. The members may appoint a President and not more than two Vice Presidents in recognition of outstanding service to the Fund whether or not such appointees are members of the Ambulance NHS Trust or Fund. They will only be entitled to vote in their capacity as Chairman of the Annual General Meeting.
9. The Committee shall consist of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and five other members. These are the Trustees of the Charity. An ex-officio member of the Committee may be appointed by the Management Board of the body/organisation responsible for the Trust.
10. Each member of the Committee with the exception of the ex-officio member may serve for a period of three years, retiring in rotation. Each may seek re-election at the end of the period and must be elected at the AGM. Every nominee must be proposed and seconded by members of the Fund.
11. A ballot of all the members will be held for the purpose of electing the Committee.
12. Service on the Committee shall not be subject to remuneration. However travelling expenses may be claimed.
13. The Honorary Treasurer shall be responsible to the Chairman for the proper keeping of the Fund's accounts and shall have power to give receipts for all monies paid to him/her on the Fund's account and shall administer the Fund in accordance with the constitution of the Fund and instructions of the Committee.
14. The Honorary Secretary shall attend meetings of the members and of the Committee and shall, subject to the direction of the Committee, be responsible for the day to day management of the affairs of the Fund.
15. The following shall apply in respect of meetings;
(a) The AGM will be held in the month of June on a date, time and place, agreed by the Committee. Notice of the meeting will be circulated to every member together with an agenda, appropriate reports, financial statement and resolutions. A proxy voting form will be included for members who are unable to attend the AGM in person.
(b) An extraordinary meeting may be convened by the Committee at any time upon a request signed by twenty or more members of the Fund and stating the object of the meeting.
(c) Not less than fourteen days notice in writing of meetings shall be sent to the members of the Fund.
(d) Accidental omission to give notice of a meeting to or the non-receipt of notice of a meeting by any member entitled to receive notice shall not invalidate the proceedings at the meeting.
(e) The President shall be the Chairman of the Annual General Meeting if he/she is present. In his/her absence, a Vice President shall be the Chairman, otherwise the Chairman of the Committee shall chair the meeting.
(f) The Chairman of any meeting shall have a casting vote providing he/she has cast an original vote.
(g) Quorum - For meetings of the Committee - 4 members including the officers will constitute a quorum. For the AGM and Extraordinary meetings a minimum of one third of members shall be present and/or have returned a voting form.
16. A resolution shall be in writing, signed by the proposer and seconder and shall be delivered to the Secretary at least 21 days prior to the meeting at which such a resolution is to be considered.
17. Every resolution shall be decided by a ballot of members and shall be carried by simply a majority.
18. Meetings of the Committee will be held every three months. At least seven days notice of meetings shall be given to members of the Committee. (except see 31 below)
19. Minutes will be kept of all meetings held by the Committee, Sub Committee and/or members. At every meeting of the Committee the minutes of the previous meeting shall be circulated and if agreed by the meeting shall be signed by the Chairman.
20. The honorary officers shall together constitute an executive Committee to which the Committee may from time to time and for such time as it thinks fit delegate such of its functions as necessary.
21. The Committee shall from time to time determine the ways and means of raising monies for the Fund.
22. The Committee shall maintain such banking account or accounts in the name of the charity as it thinks fit into such of which as may be appropriate shall be paid forthwith all sums of cash for the time being belonging to the Fund. Cheques shall be signed by any two of the following - Chairman, Hon. Treasurer or Hon. Secretary.
23. The Committee may receive on behalf of the Fund gifts whether in the form of permanent endowments or otherwise for the general purposees of the Fund and may also receive any gifts whether by way of permanent endowments, covenants or otherwise for any special purposes connected with the Fund.
24. The financial year of the Fund shall end on 31st March in each year and the accounts of the Fund shall be presented by the Honorary Treasurer to the Committee at its first meeting after that date and shall be presented at the next AGM after that date.
25. The accounts shall be audited by a firm of Registered Auditors appointed by the Committee for the purpose.
26. All the proper costs, charges and expenses of, and necessary for, the management of the Fund shall first be defrayed out of the income of the Fund.
27. Subject to the payments aforesaid the Committee shall as and when it thinks fit apply or cause to be applied the whole or any part of the income of the Fund and may apply capital of the Fund in furtherance of the objects of the Fund referred to in item 2.
28. Applications for assistance shall be submitted to the Committee in such form as the Committee shall from time to time require and shall be considered accordingly.
29. The Committee shall have the power to make a grant and or allowance to any suitable applicant who has made an application in accordance with Clause 28, up to such amounts as the Committee deem appropriate and in accordance with Item 2 of the Constitution.
30. Particulars of all payments made by the Committee shall be given to members at the AGM.
31. Alteration to this Constitution shall receive the assent of two-thirds of the members present and voting at an Annual or a Special General Meeting. A resolution for the alteration of the constitution must be received by the Secretary of the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust Benevolent Fund at least 21 days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward. At least 14 days notice of such a meeting must be given by the Secretary to the membership and must include notice of the alteration proposed. Provided that no alteration to Clause 2 (a) (b), Clause 32 or this Clause, shall take effect until the approval in writing of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction shall have been obtained; and no alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust Benevolent Fund to cease to be a charity in law.
32. If in the unanimous decision of the Committee and two-thirds of the membership the Fund should be dissolved then all proper debts and liabilities shall be paid and any funds remaining thereafter shall not be distributed among the members but shall be paid, transferred or applied to such other charitable institutions or charitable purposes for the relief of poverty, sickness and distress as the Committee, with the approval of the members, shall determine.
33. The committee in exceptional circumstances may need to adjust benefits at short notice and members will be informed of this decision by internal communications. The decision will be ratified at the next scheduled AGM.