TUAID can support your charity in a number of ways by providing:

  • Ideas about the type of activities that suits your goals and those of the space provider
  • Introductions to sources of free or inexpensive shop content, fixtures and furniture
  • Introduction to like-minded charities with experience
  • Support and advice during the use of the space
  • Help in finding exclusive or shared temporary rent-free space
  • Practical guidance on managing your temporary rent-free space
  • Advice and best practice regarding the requirements of limited liability insurance, health and safety policies, etc
  • Advice on how to obtain HMRC charitable status &/or register with the Charities Commission
  • Useful tips and ideas on logistics, IT, volunteer recruitment, website building and social media.


Increasingly, TUAID and the charities it supports are being offered large spaces in prime locations, such as a former department stores like Debenhams and Argos. Most charities are unable to take advantage of such opportunities because the premises is simply too large for a single good cause to occupy. However, through our UK-wide network of members and other charitable organisations, we are able to identify potential partners to share and benefit from that space. This means charities with similar interests can work together. Additionally, a small or inexperienced charity can be partnered with a larger organisation, creating a great learning opportunity. We have had several successful collaborations of this nature already including the former M&S in Rochdale, Debenhams in Wandsworth, London and a cluster of charities in neighbouring units in Walton-On-Thames shopping centre..


Charities may use the space free from rent or rates. In many cases, utilities are also paid by the landlord. Once a charity starts using its new space, we ask it to make a size-based voluntary donation to TUAID of £20 per week to cover some of our basic admin costs. Charities can apply for a concession to pay just a proportion of the weekly donation or indeed nothing, subject to their circumstances. TUAID looks at each case on its merit and will help where it can. However, our organisation is run without paid staff and does still incur costs and gives grants to worthy initiatives, where it can.


Only organisations involved in charitable activities (in whole or in part), including:

  • A charity registered with the Charities Commission.
  • An organisation with HMRC charitable status.
  • An organisation with charitable objectives that is not registered with the Commission and does not have HMRC charitable status.
  • An individual or group of individuals who are pursuing charitable activities without being formed formally into an organisation.

Whichever category above applies to you, the use of the space must be for charitable purposes. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Arrange limited liability insurance (certificate to be displayed)
  • Meet health and safety regulations
  • Meet fire safety regulations
  • Hold a fundraising whistleblowing policy (if relevant)


Do we need to be a registered Charity? 

The charity that signs the agreement with Temporary Use Aid does not have to be registered with the Charities Commission, but the use of the space must be for charitable purposes.

Our organisation is not registered with the Charities Commission, and we do not have charitable status with HMRC. Can you still help us? 

Yes, you may be able to utilise space under the umbrella of another charity or TUAID itself. Your organisation may take on a whole space, or part of a space on a sub-agreement basis, where it shares the same objectives as the main charity that holds the tenancy.

How soon can we move in? 

Once the paperwork has been signed, we will request the access for you from the landlord/agent.

Can we provide our own volunteers? 

Yes . Also if you need help please ask us about our free sign-posting service.

Do we need to have our own Employers and Public Liability Insurance? 

Yes. This is very easy to obtain and is necessary to protect you, your volunteers and the public.

How long can our charity use the space? 

It depends on a number of factors. Charities typically need to be ready to vacate the premises with 21 days’ notice. However, many opportunities last several months, and some even years.

Can we have more than one space?


Can we apply to donate less than £20 per week to TUAID? 

Yes. We evaluate every application on its individual merits.

Can we share our space?

Yes but remember the use must further your charitable work and public benefit. However, any such proposals must be sent to TUAID because sharers will need to be approved and sub-agreements will need to be prepared and signed.

Will we need to pay utilities? 

This depends on the agreement with the landlord. In some cases, this will be required. You will always be told in advance, so there are no hidden surprises.

How do we report problems with utilities? e.g., a water leak

Please email: and the telephone number / contact details provided when you moved into the space.

Can we make improvements to the space?

Yes but only subject to prior written approval by the landlord. Some pre-agreed costs will be met by the landlord. This will be on a case-by-case basis. The rest of the costs must be paid by the charity.

What is the notice period when we are asked to move out?

The standard period is 21-28 days, but your agreement with the landlord will specify this clearly in the terms and conditions.

Does the charity have to allow potential tenants in to look around?

Yes, but you may request viewings to be on a pre-arranged basis, especially if your charity deals with vulnerable clients, or holds sensitive information.