On 21st March, The People’s Orchestra celebrated becoming Sandwell’s first Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
The People’s Orchestra was established as a community project run by volunteers at The Change Consortium, funded by its members and by a development grant from the Arts Council.
Now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), the aim of The People’s Orchestra is to give everyone access to orchestral music whether it be playing, listening or volunteering in the back offices. In some instances people who are less well off have been given free instruments, tuition and bursaries for membership, giving The People’s Orchestra a unique rich tapestry of talented individuals from all walks of life. There are no age limits or limits on the numbers or instruments or musicians involved. The company also provides free events so people who wouldn’t normally have access to these types of events get to experience a live orchestral performance.
The People’s Orchestra have a professional approach for an amateur orchestra which means they recruit the best musicians without discrimination due to background or financial status.
Becoming a CIO
The process was very easy. Forms can be downloaded from the Charity Commission web site and Helen Trueman from the SCVO, helped to complete them should you need advice.
The Charity Commission are very busy. They prefer email contact and will most probably ask you further questions once you have submitted your online application. There isn’t much space on the form to explain some things clearly and they may need clarification, although they will look through your website first to gain a better feel about what you want to do.
The best advice I can give is to remember that the Charity Commission have a 15 day waiting rule. Your email will be answered in 15 days, and not any earlier. Answer any questions they ask you as fully as you can because if you miss something you’ll be waiting another 15 days!
SCVO offers a range of services to voluntary and community organisations in Sandwell, including governance support, constitutions and charity registration. If you would like further information or to request support please contact the Capacity Building Team on 0121 525 1127.