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The advantages of being a charity.

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/frequently-asked-questions/faqs-about-registering-a-charity/what-are-the-advantages-of-being-a-registered-charity

Why should the National Trust use my subscription so parkrunners can park for less?

I'm a big supporter of things like parkrun and the benefits they bring. I am not a big supporter of wailing and gnashing of teeth from frustrated special interest groups.

 

The other 'advantage' of being a charity is that your accounts, who you pay, what you do with your money and how many people you help are all publicly available and publicly challengeable.

 

If all you do is file two sheets of unaudited figures you can put out any old tut.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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The other 'advantage' of being a charity is that your accounts, who you pay, what you do with your money and how many people you help are all publicly available and publicly challengeable.

 

If all you do is file two sheets of unaudited figures you can put out any old tut.

 

I provided a link earlier in this thread to details lodged with Companies House on Parkrun UK.

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Given that many of our participants are not runners - ie they consider parkrun as a way of getting fit rather than being out and about every day running their feet off - then although amusing it isn't really surprising they turn up in their cars.  Even so, any congestion caused only lasts an hour or so and occurs at the quietest time on a Saturday morning. 

 

Of course, and I think it is wonderful that people are using it to get out there and get fit.  I also find it funny when people go and sit on exercise bikes or pound the treadmill in the gym instead of getting outside and doing it on the roads and paths locally in the fresh air, especially in the beautiful surroundings of some areas (inner cities are more understandable).  Though having said that maybe after this the next stage is the council will start to charge us for walking on the pavements or biking on the cycle paths... 

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I provided a link earlier in this thread to details lodged with Companies House on Parkrun UK.

 

Two pages of unaudited figures without any further details.  Unless, as is possible, there was something I missed?


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Another fine example of the lunacy that prevails in this country these days.

 

The Council wants to charge the organising company (not the runners themselves) for the use of their facilities as the company are a profit making privately owned business.

 

Company says we won't pay.

 

Council says you can actually get a grant to cover the costs - we will even fill out the application forms for you.

 

Company says we won't pay and aren't applying for the grant, and we are cancelling the event.

 

Now, lets just say that these runners are causing excess wear and tear on the pathways over and above what the council would normally be expected to repair. And one of these runners falls over and injures themselves on a cracked pathway. They'd have a compensation claim in against the council before you could say "no win no fee".


I’m not prejudiced, I hate everybody equally

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I'm a bit bemused by this thread, having just read through it all from start to finish.

 

It started so well!

 

I've now edited out a few comments that were either borderline personal insults, or in my view, deliberately trying to provoke a certain reaction rather than provide a valid point or add to the discussion.

 

I think this thread has (no pun intended) run its course, but I'm going to leave it open on the off chance that it can return to discussing the issue at hand and avoid any further descent into unnecessary personal digs, point-scoring or trolling.

 

Thank you.


.

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Of course, and I think it is wonderful that people are using it to get out there and get fit.  I also find it funny when people go and sit on exercise bikes or pound the treadmill in the gym instead of getting outside and doing it on the roads and paths locally in the fresh air, especially in the beautiful surroundings of some areas (inner cities are more understandable).  Though having said that maybe after this the next stage is the council will start to charge us for walking on the pavements or biking on the cycle paths... 

 

people go and sit on exercise bikes

 

Non-impact exercise for those with damaged and worn cartilage.


Four legs good - two legs bad

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people go and sit on exercise bikes

 

Non-impact exercise for those with damaged and worn cartilage.

 

Crikey, you can't make a throw away comment on here and get away with it can you!?

 

It is not the biking (non impact exercise) part I was picking up on, more the doing the outdoor activity inside, without the views, fresh air, interest etc and having to pay more for the privilege!  Again (as per the car parking at park run) I completely understand the reasons for it, I just find it funny.

 

I enjoy cycling, both in the mountains and on the roads, and I tolerate(!) running, both in a park and elsewhere.  I'm definitely not judging people for wanting to improve their fitness however they want to do it, just pointing out the irony in some cases (of which I myself am guilty of at times).

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Yes, I see the irony.

 

parkrun not for me, I'm afraid.  Even after recently shedding 15 kilos, knackered knees means no more running (jogging) . Knackered shoulders from years of on and off road cycling has reduced me to cycling along sea -fronts and can't even use weights. Best outdoor exercise comes from putting my Pan European on and off its center stand....


Four legs good - two legs bad

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Yes, I see the irony.

 

parkrun not for me, I'm afraid.  Even after recently shedding 15 kilos, knackered knees means no more running (jogging) . Knackered shoulders from years of on and off road cycling has reduced me to cycling along sea -fronts and can't even use weights. Best outdoor exercise comes from putting my Pan European on and off its center stand....

 

I was going to like the comment but that seemed to be a bit sadistic!  The loss of 15kg is certainly good news, obviously whatever the exercise is, it's working.

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Yes, I see the irony.

parkrun not for me, I'm afraid. Even after recently shedding 15 kilos, knackered knees means no more running (jogging) . Knackered shoulders from years of on and off road cycling has reduced me to cycling along sea -fronts and can't even use weights. Best outdoor exercise comes from putting my Pan European on and off its center stand....

If you can still lift a Pan European on and off it's centre stand your not quite ready for the knackers yard yet. I've driven smaller, lighter cars. :P


"it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it."

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Even if it can be proved that a couple of hundred runners do cause some damage over the course of a year or 2, damage which is in excess of those 200 runners running through the park separately or with a few friends and or a dog or two, then the Council may have a case to charge them. As it stands its a non-arguement IMO

 

Nobody has been able to answer yet that even if there is some litter to pick up or to fork over a muddy corner - public parks are largely funded out of Council Tax. We all pay Council Tax, so are already paying for the upkeep

 

There are obviously some on here who have a real issue with park run. From the posts it seems as though its because its free and organised and successful, and also being run by some mutli million pound corporation that has money to burn, then charges should be made

 

I don't see that in the organisation. True, it has become of such size that it needs infrasctructure and professional people to run and lead it. This can't be done on volunteers alone. It will be true that there are reasonably large sums of money going through its books. But its now of such size that cash is required to pay a small number of employees, scanners, replace bar codes that go missing from every park run every week. I did it inadvertedly on my first one (but posted it back), provide hi-viz vests for the volunteers and marshals, etc, etc.

 

And BTW the National Trust are not subsidising Park Runners. The car park they provide at the park run I use is more or less deserted on arrival and deserted when I leave. They are not losing revenue. In fact they are gaining revenue as I became a member

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National Trust contributes nothing. It's members and paying visitors and the taxpayer do, though.

 

My point was more GingerJon's throwaway about "don't get me started on national trust". I thought the comparatively large amount of people they were able to devote to parkrun in comparison with how many employees parkrun has was noteworthy. Their argument is that it's self-sustaining financially due to the increase in visitor numbers & membership at those properties and that's why they're expanding the number.

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My point was more GingerJon's throwaway about "don't get me started on national trust". I thought the comparatively large amount of people they were able to devote to parkrun in comparison with how many employees parkrun has was noteworthy. Their argument is that it's self-sustaining financially due to the increase in visitor numbers & membership at those properties and that's why they're expanding the number.

 

My remark had nothing to do with Parkrun directly though.  I think there are very deep issues with the National Trust and some of what it does.  If they want to open their car parks and gardens to runners on whatever terms then I have no problem with that.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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The other 'advantage' of being a charity is that your accounts, who you pay, what you do with your money and how many people you help are all publicly available and publicly challengeable.

 

If all you do is file two sheets of unaudited figures you can put out any old tut.

 

Regular private eye readers will know that charities also appear to be able to put out any old tut, with the regulator seemingly showing little interest in auditing (or being charitable, not being given the resources to properly regulate.)

 

I'd think the key organisational challenge for something like parkrun would be staying out of trouble from ambulance chasing lawyers - with the number of people running each week, it's inevitable that there will be injuries, heart attacks, child protection scares etc etc. so having limited liability for employees & volunteers is going to be paramount. UK athletics enforced quite a few changes in the way they operate so that children could continue running - it's a run, not a race and there are first finishers rather than winners, because of insurance concerns over under-16s running at the same time as adults.

 

Struggle to see how there could be much financially dodgy happening with parkrun, even without looking at accounts. The only people putting money in regularly are sponsors and it's pretty obvious where the outgoings are.  

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Another fine example of the lunacy that prevails in this country these days.

 

The Council wants to charge the organising company (not the runners themselves) for the use of their facilities as the company are a profit making privately owned business.

 

Company says we won't pay.

 

Council says you can actually get a grant to cover the costs - we will even fill out the application forms for you.

 

Company says we won't pay and aren't applying for the grant, and we are cancelling the event.

 

Now, lets just say that these runners are causing excess wear and tear on the pathways over and above what the council would normally be expected to repair. And one of these runners falls over and injures themselves on a cracked pathway. They'd have a compensation claim in against the council before you could say "no win no fee".

'The Company' wont pay because (a) the ethos of the parkrun was and still is that it is free at point of use and manned entirely by volunteers and (b ) how much do you think it would cost to fund 850 parkruns worldwide?  A grant would never be sufficient because the monies it raised would come to an end and the council would still want money.  Not only that but if the parkrun in Little Stoke provided money to the council then that sets a precedent and all councils would start doing the same thing.  But that isn't what parkrun is about. 

 

As for your point about injury: one of the sponsors of Parkrun UK pays for insurance cover for all parkruns so your point does not apply.

Edited by Saintslass

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UK athletics enforced quite a few changes in the way they operate so that children could continue running - it's a run, not a race and there are first finishers rather than winners, because of insurance concerns over under-16s running at the same time as adults.

At my parkrun the run director advises all runners before each run that children under 11 years have to run within touching distance of their accompanying adult, and all volunteers reinforce that in spite of some parents not liking it, otherwise they cannot participate as they would invalidate the insurance.  Children over 11 years are allowed to run independently.

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Regular private eye readers will know that charities also appear to be able to put out any old tut, with the regulator seemingly showing little interest in auditing (or being charitable, not being given the resources to properly regulate.)

 

Agree that the regulator is woeful.  The difference being that all charities above a pretty low threshold (although recently raised) have to put out full audited accounts with accompanying narrative and notes.  The detail required goes above and beyond anything required of private companies of similar size - and it's all available for any member of the public to view.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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As for your point about injury: one of the sponsors of Parkrun UK pays for insurance cover for all parkruns so your point does not apply.

 

Yes it does apply. Parkrun will have insurance to indemnify themselves not the council. An injury sustained by a member of the public on council property still leaves the council open to a claim regardless of who the organisers of the event are.


I’m not prejudiced, I hate everybody equally

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The first person that sues the council or National Trust could be the same watershed moment as Councils charging.

IMO I don't see it happening with the park run crowd, there is (at the moment) too much community spirit, however that could be under-mined with one unfortunate incident.

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Yes it does apply. Parkrun will have insurance to indemnify themselves not the council. An injury sustained by a member of the public on council property still leaves the council open to a claim regardless of who the organisers of the event are.

And the council will claim from their own insurance or will sue the Park Run organisers who will claim on their insurance.

 

I'm involved in the running of a series of cross country events in the New Forest, we pay the National Park for the use of the land and we have our own insurance which is backed by England Athletics. Parkrun I would guess will need something similar. 

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And the council will claim from their own insurance or will sue the Park Run organisers who will claim on their insurance.

 

I'm involved in the running of a series of cross country events in the New Forest, we pay the National Park for the use of the land and we have our own insurance which is backed by England Athletics. Parkrun I would guess will need something similar. 

 

 

Park run use the same insurance as you do.  But they are not a race so various rules don't need to be implemented.


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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Exactly. parkrun is insured through UK Athletics, hence the rules about unaccompanied children, it being a run rather than a race, first finisher rather than a winner and so forth.

 

I did a parkrun on Forestry commission land a couple of weeks ago, with rabbit holes all over the course. Our local parkrun is a sea of mud at the moment without a concrete path in sight and we had someone with a broken elbow from slipping on ice a while back, so the prospect of someone suing for a cracked pavement seems remote. You've voluntarily signed up to do it and have had multiple warnings about conditions underfoot before running and the volunteer organisers have highlighted the need for care before every race. Local councils don't get sued for football injuries unless someone can prove negligence. I just don't see it as a big worry in the UK (although I imagine it's one of the things that has held it back in the US, where it hasn't taken off anything like as quickly as in Europe, Australia etc.)

 

On the "no publicity is bad publicity" front, nearly 15 000 people signed up for parkrun in the UK this week.

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The difference being that all charities above a pretty low threshold (although recently raised) have to put out full audited accounts with accompanying narrative and notes.  The detail required goes above and beyond anything required of private companies of similar size - and it's all available for any member of the public to view.

 

As an aside, I was wondering why sports governing bodies are mostly companies rather than charities - and it seems like sport was not considered a charitable thing until a change in the law a few years ago. Today, the law explicitly says that the promotion of any particular sport, for its own sake, is not a charitable purpose.

 

However, community amateur sporting clubs are now allowed to become a charity, where their aim is to promote "community participation in healthy recreation by providing facilities for playing particular sports." So are organisations which exist specifically to promote sport for young people.

 

So, the RFL can't be a charity, but a suitably constituted community RL club could be. It's not clear to me which side of the line parkrun would fall on. If their aim is to organise a series of free, timed, weekly 5km runs, that's not a charitable purpose. If their aim is to improve public health by encouraging mass participation in running, that might be allowed. 

Edited by JonM

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