Statement from City Hearts in relation to Charity Commission Case Report, November 2019
The Charity Commission has now closed its investigation and published its report into City Hearts charity after allegations were made against the organisation in a televised broadcast in March 2018.
City Hearts’ senior management team and board of trustees worked in close co-operation with the Commission throughout and demonstrated the charity’s full commitment to strengthening its safeguarding procedures and governance. The Charity Commission found the allegations centred on historic incidents dating to 2011-12 and was satisfied there were no associated live risks.
City Hearts (UK) exists to support some of the most vulnerable and exploited members of society. It works nationwide and is currently helping over 600 women, men and children. Thanks to City Hearts, around 4,250 people are now leading fulfilling, independent lives.
Said City Hearts CEO Ed Newton: “We offer a profuse and heartfelt apology that a small number of clients were let down by insufficient reporting and channelling of complaints within the charity.
“The Commission verified that we had already improved a number of our processes, policies andprocedures before the allegations were in the public arena. Throughout this process, we have also continued to make improvements, including all recommendations from the Charity Commission. We voluntarily launched our own independent investigation immediately after the Television report and prior to the involvement of the Commission. That independent investigation was lengthy and thorough and we have acted upon its findings. As a result we improved staff training and have been working robustly to ensure our policies and values on inclusion, equality and diversity are followed throughout the organisation.
“In addition, new and independent trustees have been appointed and we are currently in theprocess of recruiting more. We remain committed to the continuous improvement and developmentof the charity.”
The Channel 4 report included allegations made by two former clients and one former staff member, which dated back to 2011-12 and related primarily to City Hearts Recovery programme for women with life controlling issues, a service which was replaced in 2012. At that time the charity had a very small number of staff and very limited finances. The City Hearts Trustees took the allegations extremely seriously and immediately carried out a thorough internal inquiry, then voluntarily employed an independent investigator/solicitor to review historic and current practices and to ensure the right systems were in place, so that clients’ needswere being met in a safe and suitable environment.
The independent investigation’s findings and recommendations were voluntarily shared in full withthe Charity Commission.
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