It is with sadness that we learn that the charity Keeping Kids Company (registered charity number 1068298), known as Kids Company, which has supported some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, young people and families in Britain, has had to close after 19 years due to lack of funding.
At the point at which the recent specific concerns were brought to our attention we acted quickly. On 9 July, the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, met with the trustees of the charity regarding the concerns in the public domain about the charity’s funding, financial stability and proposed governance changes.
We were subsequently contacted by former employees of the charity and met them on 16 July to discuss specific concerns about alleged inappropriate spending, breaches of financial controls and concerns about the viability of the organisation.
We notified the charity of the complaints on 17 July and met with charity representatives on 21 July. At that meeting we insisted on a number of steps being taken, including that, under the oversight of the commission, the charity instigate an immediate independent examination into the specific allegations made. The trustees fully cooperated with this, and had already prior to our engagement put in place changes to the governance, management of and existing financial controls within the charity. This work was still ongoing when the charity closed. Although the charity is closing our regulatory engagement continues and we will be making immediate contact with the receiver when appointed.
The priority for the trustees during closure is the welfare of the charity’s vulnerable beneficiaries. We have received assurances from the charity that, working with government agencies and charities, steps have been taken to ensure the transfer of the care of the beneficiaries and there will be clear sign-posting so that they know where to go for alternative help.