A report by the Charity Commission into a Ripon charity has cleared it of any financial mismanagement.
The Charity regulator became involved after a series of funding issues led the charity to close one of its three city bases, as well as withdrawing services to 12 disabled people and making a number of redundancies.
The Charity Commission conducted the review following allegations of financial misconduct and mismanagement, which the charity categorically denied.
In its report, published this week, the Charity Commission said:
Although we received concerns about the financial management, we found no regulatory issues to warrant our intervention.
It concluded that “the decisions by the trustees were made in good faith in the best interests of the charity.
We have assurances from the Board that there are no current financial difficulties and Board has taken steps to ensure the ongoing provision of services for all the current beneficiaries and that the future of the charity is not at risk.
Ripon Community Link chairman Kathryn Harrison said:
The publishing of this report means we can now move forward and set our sights on the future success of the charity.
It makes a series of recommendations, a number of which were already in train before the Commissioners’ visit. We also recognise there were certain aspects that could have been handled better and admit lessons have been learned.
We have appointed new trustees who are fully committed to re-building local confidence in the charity. We have made huge strides in improving governance and have absolute confidence in the management in place at the charity.
We are working hard building financial resilience. Our future funding strategy focuses on maintaining strong relationships with statutory partners and increasing our income generation by social enterprises and fundraised income.
We have examined all income streams and where cost efficiencies can be made. This combined action has improved financial viability and sustainability.
We are also working hard to overcome the damage caused to fundraising potential as a result of the allegations, and to build trust and confidence in the charity.
Before Christmas, parents were invited to a series of meetings which were well attended and gave us the opportunity for transparency and to clarify any concerns with them.
We have received very positive feedback from both staff and many members on the current service delivered.
We are excited about the development of a new strategy, which will include views from parents, members, staff and volunteers, and steer our future direction over the coming years.