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Kids Company - The lessons no trustee can afford to ignore

In February 2016, the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee  published its report into the collapse of the charity Kids Company. This report contains recommendations and lessons that no one who is a trustee of a charity can afford to ignore.

While being a charity trustee should be a rewarding and exciting experience, the position of trusteeship is one of the most onerous responsibilities an individual can take on. In its publication, The Essential Trustee (CC3), the Charity Commission makes clear:

“to be a trustee requires time, understanding and effort” and “good intentions aren’t enough to fulfil your responsibilities”. These are sentiments echoed in the conclusions of the Committee’s reports.

The Collapse of Kids Company


Kids Company was founded in 1996 by Camilla Batmanghelidjh with the aim of providing practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable children and young people. Over the course of its existence it received government grants in excess of £42 million but its demand-led operating model meant that fnancially it was always on a “knife-edge”. The charity closed on 5 August 2015, following the launch of a Metropolitan Police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at the charity. These allegations emerged on the same day that the Government released a grant of £3 million to the charity intended to enable an emergency restructure. The police investigation has subsequently been closed, having found no evidence to support the allegations of abuse. However, the allegations meant that potential funders and donors disappeared and this, given the charity’s already precarious financial position led, ultimately, to its collapse.

Click here to read the full article.


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