Charity status for Hitchin Bridge Club
A HITCHIN bridge club has become the first of its kind in the country to be awarded charitable status, much to the “delight” of its members.
The organisation was officially accredited by the Charity Commission, and is the first ‘mind sport’ in England and Wales to be recognised.
The authorisation was given because of the group’s charitable aims in advancing amateur sport and providing recreational facilities for the public’s benefit.
Margaret Eddleston, president and founder of Hitchin Bridge Club said: “All the members are delighted with the decision.
“The club wants to help more people learn to play bridge and to reap the benefits from regular mental simulation and companionship it provides.
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“The health and educational advantages of the game are great, and we want to encourage that.
“We’re the first mind sport to be offered this status, as it usually applies to physical sports.”
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The club, which currently meets at Bancroft Hall, is also seeking to move premises, which will be easier now the charity status has been awarded.
It hopes that the new proposed building will be used by other groups too, and is currently liaising with the district council on the matter.
“With the benefit of the status, the club can now concentrate on providing a new community building, which will provide modern facilities for playing the sport and a wide range of other community activities,” said Margaret.
“It’s our intention to build in the town, and this status is a great help as it enables us to get funding.
“That’s our next aim, to make progress with that.”
The charity status was awarded after a year-long process, due to the unusualness of the application.
The club started back in 2000 with just a handful of bridge players, but now has 130 registered members. They meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings.