Constitutions

The Pillars of your Shed

What is a constitution?

A constitution is the governing document that states –

1: Name of your organisation or Shed
2: Objectives of your Shed
3: How your Shed will be set up and run

Why do you need a constitution?

To ensure your Shed is set up and run properly over time.

To help to obtain funding for your Shed by demonstration of good governance.
To establish personal liability for assets and liabilities of the Shed.

How to get a constitution?

Constitution forms can be downloaded from the Internet. A warning: you must first determine what type of constituted organisation you wish to become. Each type of organisation has different legal obligations, advantages and disadvantages. This first choice is vital, as changing your constitution may be difficult.

OSCR – the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is the body charged with overseeing charities in Scotland.

The SMSA have agreed on a Scottish Men’s Shed template with OSCR. This is a two tier type constitution which works hand in glove with becoming a SCIO. This can speed up the SCIO application process and help OSCR as it is a constitution which has been agreed upon. Be sure however that the ‘purposes’ fit with the aims of your shed.

Members can download Scottish Men’s Sheds Association two tier constitution form in the SMSA members section.

Other type of constitutions

SCVO – Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

This page is recommended by OSCR as the SCVO site has a good ‘how to’ on what type of constituted organisation type is suitable for your Shed.

http://www.scvo.org.uk/setting-up-a-charity

Types of Constituted Organisations

SCIO [Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation]
Limited liability of trustees, no liability of members as assets are held by the SCIO which is a legal personality.

Unincorporated Association
Liability of trustees, no liability of members as assets are held by the trustees.

Company Limited by Guarantee
No liability of trustees, no liability of members as assets are held by the Company which is a legal personality.

Trust
Liability of trustees, no liability of members as assets are held by the Trust which has a legal personality.

A usefully detailed comparison chart is at the OSCR site:
http://www.oscr.org.uk/media/2052/2015-10-07-key-characteristics-of-legal-forms.pdf

What our members say

In short. We already feel invigorated, more motivated, more active, healthier and indeed happier. Isn’t that what a Shed is about?- Bill B
Your advice and help in negotiating and securing us a lease has been invaluable. We wish you every success in developing the SMSA to the point that every area in Scotland will have a regional advisor. - Alan P
There have been times when the task ahead of us has seemed too much and without your presence to re-kindle our motivation we might have faltered.- Peter
Many thanks for such a fulsome conversation this morning. Both Lawson and I learnt a great deal from our chat and from your advice. Well Being!- Alan S

Men involved in community Men’s Sheds report living healthier, happier and more connected lives.