The “Public Benefit” requirement in relation to the work of the Bridge to Cross Charitable Trust.
For an organisation to be a charity the law requires that it must operate in such a way as to benefit “the public” at large or a “sufficient section” of the public. The definitions of a “sufficient section” include those with a “protected characteristic” and age is one such characteristic.
The Bridge to Cross Charitable Trust owns and manages the 7Corners Centre. The work carried on there is clearly of benefit, as the Centre provides a safe environment in which young people can meet one another and also meet adults who can respond to their questions and anxieties in non-threatening and non-judgmental ways. Centre Users can also be pointed towards sources of professional guidance and assistance if they feel this would be helpful.
The atmosphere of the Centre itself encourages disclosure, as Centre Users are able to relax and feel at ease with the manager and the volunteers whom they meet regularly. The age range to which the Centre promotes itself is from 13 to 26 years. We believe that younger children are less able to benefit from regular access to the Centre and that older individuals would be better helped by the statutory services. The informality of the Centre’s approach is more appropriate for those who are negotiating the transition from child to adult.