Press release: New Charity Investigation: Darren Wright Foundation

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a new statutory inquiry into the Darren Wright Foundation (1167130). The investigation was opened on 29 November 2017.

The Bristol-based charity operates to relieve the needs of disabled people, people with life limiting illnesses and their families through the provision of grants and other financial support for life-changing operations.

The Commission engaged with the charity in August 2017 following the receipt of complaints from members of the public. These complainants, who included the families of beneficiaries of the charity, raised concerns about difficulties they had faced in communicating with the charity and accessing funds that had been raised on behalf of their family members.

The Commission has also experienced difficulties in communicating with the charity and has therefore been unable to adequately address a number of regulatory concerns identified through the public complaints and by way of the Commission’s own scrutiny. An inquiry has therefore been opened to specifically examine:

  • the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees, with specific regard to the extent to which the trustees have:
    • acted in the charity’s best interests and in accordance with their duties and responsibilities under charity law
    • responsibly managed the charity’s resources and financial affairs
    • worked to avoid or manage conflicts of interests
  • the extent to which the charity operates in furtherance of its charitable purposes for the public benefit
  • whether and to what extent any issues or weaknesses in the administration of the charity:
    • were a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees; and
    • require rectification by the trustees or the Commission.

The Commission stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail, investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct; establish the extent of any risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work and decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its investigative, protective and remedial powers to do so.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.

The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.

Ends

Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report .
  2. Search for charities on our check charity tool.
  3. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.

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