It is with a very heavy heart at Researching Reform that we announce the closure of our favourite children’s charity, Kids Company.
Kids Company pioneered one of the most effective programmes nationally to tackle child abuse and neglect, and its founder, Camilla Batmanghelidjh received several accolades and awards for her accomplishments in the field, as did her charity Kids Company, which was founded in 1996.
In a statement which Kids Company kindly sent to us, Kids Company Chairman Alan Yentob and Camilla explain the very difficult decision to close down the charity, and we add the email for you below:
“On behalf of the Trustees of Kids Company, it is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know that we have taken the very difficult decision to close the charity.
We have been forced to do so because collectively, despite the extraordinary efforts of Camila and her team, some truly enlightened philanthropists and the government, we have not been able to raise enough money to meet the ongoing costs and liabilities. The recent negative press coverage has been particularly damaging.
The charity’s 11 street level centres in London and Bristol and its outreach project in Liverpool will close immediately and its work with over 40 schools in London and Bristol will also come to an end. These services impact on thousands of vulnerable children, young people and families across the country many of whom are categorised as high risk.
Kids Company has been in existence for over 19 years, growing from very small beginnings to one of Britain’s best loved charities. The organisation has been predominantly funded by donations from individuals, trusts and foundations and by government grants. This year, however, Kids Company found that previous levels of funding did not materialise and in order to continue delivering its successful and effective services, the charity planned to restructure to a level that could be supported by a lower annual turnover. It sought funds to restructure from government and a group of philanthropic donors but in the end this was not enough to meet the charity’s ongoing liabilities.
“I want to thank you for the remarkable support you have given our children and young people over so many years. The challenges that Kids Company has had to face will not go away. I am sure you are as concerned as we are for the future of these young people.”
Alan Yentob, Chairman of Trustees
“We have been forced to close Kids Company which we do with profound sadness. Our children, staff, and volunteers supported by trustees and extraordinarily generous donors, have over the last 19 years helped create an inspirational community committed to recovery and love. The catastrophic abandonment of children who are suffering is a testimony to our collective moral failing. I hope one day the childhood maltreatment wound, that is so deeply hurting this country, will heal.
I apologise to all the courageous and dignified young people who have touched our hearts and made us brave. The hope we shared together cannot be negated and will serve to strengthen our resolve never to be silenced when your truth needs to be told. To the staff of Kids Company, you are a gift. For everything we have learnt, I am deeply grateful.”
Camila Batmanghelidjh, Founder of Kids Company
For more information please visit www.kidsco.org.uk