How Community Impact Bucks helped a group of professionals set up a Community Interest Company (CIC) to improve awareness of workplace suicides and encourage legislative change.

The background

During the lockdown in early 2020, Helen, a professional specialising in issues facing vulnerable people, was contacted by several businesses with concerns about an increase in calls from customers who mentioned suicide. Their employees were unsure of how to respond and feared making the situation worse.

It became apparent from these conversations that suicide prevention and intervention wasn’t part of most organisations’ toolkit. This was the catalyst for a small group of people with experience in supporting vulnerable people to come together with the aim of creating an organisation that could bring awareness, knowledge, and skills to businesses on suicide prevention.

The challenge

The group wanted to set up an organisation that could bring awareness and knowledge to businesses on suicide prevention but were unsure of the best legal structure to enable them to do this.  The group contacted Community Impact Bucks for support in setting up their organisation.

The solution

Support started in August 2021 when Helen contacted Community Impact Bucks for guidance on how to set up a not- for-profit organisation, with a particular focus on whether a Community Interest Organisation (CIC) was the right structure for their organisation.  Support was provided on researching similar organisations, the different types of legal structures for not-for-profit organisations, funding a CIC and how to register a CIC.  Pro bono legal advice was also given.

After some time thinking about what they wanted to achieve, the organisation contacted Community Impact Bucks in April 2022 for a refresher on the difference between a CIC and CIO.  Following that session and further Pro bono legal support, the organisation confirmed they would be registering as a CIC.

In October 2022 the organisation reached out for further support as they were facing difficulties with their application to become a CIC.  Their initial application was rejected, and they wanted guidance to enable them to register successfully.

Thank you so much for your time last week and for all the information you sent with the follow up email. This is brilliant!
It was really useful to be able to talk through what I am looking to achieve, and the advice given gave me a much clearer understanding of what I need to do to move my campaign forwards.
The resources you have sent post session will also be a real help.” –
Helen Pettifer

The result

In December 2022, the group were successful in registering as a CIC – Workplace Awareness of Suicide Prevention (WASPS) – which aims to improve awareness of workplace suicides and invite legislative change making it a legal requirement for all organisations in the UK to have a policy on suicide.

Further Information



Updated on September 4, 2023

Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society