The promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or of the efficiency of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services

This section brings together our guidance, reports, key decisions and other resources that could help trustees understand the scope of ‘the promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or of the efficiency of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services’.

What is meant by ‘the promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or of the efficiency of the police, fire and rescue services or ambulance services’?

1. The armed forces exist for public defence and security. It is charitable to promote the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown as a means of defending the country. That includes ensuring that those forces are properly trained and equipped during times of conflict. It also includes providing facilities and benefits for the armed forces. Similarly it is also charitable to promote the efficiency of the police, fire, rescue or ambulance services as they exist for the prevention and detection of crime, the preservation of public order and to protect the public. (‘Fire and rescue services’ means services provided by fire and rescue authorities under Part 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 (C.21)).

2. Examples of the sorts of charities and charitable purposes falling within this description include:

  • increasing technical knowledge of members of the services through the provision of educational resources, competitions and prizes
  • increasing physical fitness of members of the services through the provision of sporting facilities, equipment and sporting competitions
  • providing opportunities for service personnel to gain additional experience relevant to their jobs (eg aeroplane clubs for RAF personnel)
  • supporting messes (NCOs and Officers) and institutes (other ranks), including the provision of chattels (items of plate etc)
  • providing and maintaining band instruments and equipment
  • promoting and strengthening bonds between allied units
  • providing memorials to commemorate the fallen or victories
  • maintaining chapels (eg regimental chapels in cathedrals) or churches
  • researching the military history of a regiment or other unit, and publishing books about it
  • maintaining a museum or other collection for the preservation of artefacts connected with a military unit or service and supporting military and service museums generally
  • encouraging esprit de corps (loyalty of a member to the unit to which he or she belongs and recognition of the honour of the unit)
  • providing associations which support a unit and enable serving and former members to mix together
  • providing facilities for military training (eg drill halls)
  • encouraging recruitment to the services (eg through exhibitions, air displays etc)
  • provision of an emergency air or sea rescue service and equipment
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