A Ripon charity supporting adults and young people with disabilities has its sights firmly set on the future after the conclusion of an independent review by the Charity Commission.
This week after completing a thorough and detailed review, the regulator confirmed it has “closed its case” regarding Ripon Community Link and would be taking no further action.
In addition, Ripon City Council has this week publicly stated its support for the charity.
In a statement posted on social media, the council said:
Ripon City Council would like to publicly confirm that it considers Ripon Community Link an important and integral part of the community in the City of Ripon.
The Council looks forward to re-establishing close working relationships with the charity and will arrange to meet with them at an early date.
The Council intends to explore potential funding to the Charity through the Council’s own Strategic Investment Fund in the coming months.
The Charity Commission has made six recommendations moving forward which cover more robust governance and greater financial controls.
During its review the commissioner not only met with the charity’s management and trustees, but also former staff members and parents of service users, and other key stakeholders.
Ripon Community Link interim CEO Victoria Ashley said:
Thanks to the Charity Commission’s constructive review, and their recommendations which we have begun addressing, we and the Ripon community can all focus our sights on the future.
It is natural that following the reconfiguration of our services for there to be a level of concern.
However, there has been some very public and deliberately misleading comments that have obstructed attempts to consolidate the service. The last few months have been incredibly challenging and – sadly – damaging.
We have welcomed the Charity Commission review and we now have a clear plan for improvement and are tackling any issues head on.
Mrs Ashley added:
We are also delighted by the public show of support from Ripon City Council, which is very welcome news indeed. With this now behind us it is important that we collectively work with the local community.
We need to find a way through the differences of opinion, build relationships which we are very willing to do and maintain the focus on what will give us the best results for our members.
Kathryn Harrison, Ripon Community Link Chair of Trustees, said:
The tough decisions we took earlier this year were not taken lightly. They were done to safeguard the very future of Ripon Community Link, which has been at the heart of the city for 28 years
We are satisfied with the outcome of this regulatory review, and the points raised were already ones we had identified and were already working to address.
And, in the spirit of openness and transparency, we will be happy to share these recommendations and the progress we are making, upon written request.