The project, which provides shelter and support for those sleeping rough on the streets of Cirencester, received confirmation of the decision from the Charity Commission for England and Wales this week.
Following months of hard work undertaken by the project’s dedicated volunteers and a team brought together to serve as trustees, the Commission’s stringent administrative and legal requirements under the Charities Act have been satisfied.
The charity status gives The Big Yellow Bus Project a massive boost and will enable the non-profit organisation to continue its valuable work in the community providing a warm, safe place to sleep for homeless men and women over the age of 18.
Founder Gerry Watkins was delighted to receive the seal of approval from the Charity Commission saying it would make life so much easier for everyone associated with the Big Yellow Bus.
“It’s difficult to explain the difference this is going to make on so many levels for the project. It means so much to everyone involved. Not only can we continue to carry out our vital work, it will help secure the future of the Big Yellow Bus here in Cirencester and other towns,” he explained.
“This is such fantastic news and it’s the result of a lot of hard work from our new trustees who bring a lot of experience and knowledge which will take us from strength to strength.
“It also shows how far we’ve come in less than a year to meet all the standards of an actual bona fide charity in every respect. I get quite emotional about it, but the effort to get charity status is going to make all the difference and I want to thank everyone for supporting us and for the goodwill shown to the Big Yellow Bus.
Managed and run by volunteers and funded entirely through fundraising events and the generosity of the community it serves, the bus provides shelter for up to seven ‘guests’ a night with partitioned sleeping berths on the upper deck. The lower deck is fitted with a small kitchen area, communal seating and wood-burning stove.