Updated: 5th February 2020
Hopes that the high profile children’s charity Kids Company might be saved as a viable concern have been dealt a significant blow with news that its trustees have submitted a winding up petition to the High Court.
The UK’s Charity Commission has confirmed that the winding up petition has indeed been submitted but no further comments have been forthcoming on the matter either from the commission or from the charity itself.
Kids Company has been at the centre of widespread political and media outrage in recent weeks after a financial crisis forced it to close on August 5th despite millions of pounds in bailout money being provided to it by the British government in recent years.
Prior to this month and its closure, the charity had employed roughly 650 people around the country and provided help to as many as 36,000 impoverished and otherwise vulnerable children.
Funding allocated to the charity recently by the government was only to be provided on the understanding that the Kids Company’s founder Camilla Batmanghelidjh would step away from its operations and leave her role as its chief executive.
Allegations have since emerged to the effect that Kids Company was being very badly mismanaged from a financial perspective for a number of years.
Earlier this month, the Guardian reported that two of the charity’s previous finance directors have stepped down from their roles in recent years because they felt their calls for more prudent financial management were not being heeded.
An unnamed source told the newspaper: “Kids Company didn’t have any [financial] reserves, the government knew they didn’t have any reserves, and they bailed them out time and again.
“The charity, the trustees, got complacent, they got into this habit, they knew they would always get bailed out.”
There have been suggestions that the charity might be rescued or restructured in ways that would allow it to continue providing help to children around the UK but the Kids Company is now set to be officially wound up.
If judges decide to wind up the charity in the coming weeks then its assets and finances will be scrutinised in depth by receivers as they aim to secure whatever repayments could be made possible for creditors.