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The downfall of the London-based charity Kids Company has been all over the news this week.
The former Chief Executive and founder of Kids Company is the hugely flamboyant Camila Batmanghelidjh. A larger than life character who had an amazing passion to help disadvantaged children.
It now appears that the infrastructure of Kids Company failed to live up to the enthusiasm of its founder.
I hope that in the passing weeks and months, as the postmortem on Kids Company is carried out people do not forget that the closure of this charity is a tragedy.
- It is a tragedy for the 36,000 children, young adults and families who no longer have the services provided by Kids Company. Their lives have been put in to tumult by the organisation who were meant to be providing support and giving them stability.
- It is a tragedy for the staff who no longer have a job.
- It is a tragedy for the local communities. Communities that were improved by the services provided by Kids Company.
And it is a tragedy for the Voluntary Sector as a whole.
Back in July 2012, I wrote a post titled ‘Sweet Charity‘. It was in response to an article published in the Sunday Telegraph. This article was an expose on the aggressive behaviour of some street fundraisers.
It was not the article that upset me. It was the vitriolic comments underneath. Who knew that charities and the people who worked for them were so hated? Who knew they were to blame for all the problems of society?
Yes, I admit, charities are not infallible. And the management and trustees of charities do make mistakes.
But charitable organisations are essential. The voluntary sector plays a crucial role in our society.
They work tirelessly to help the disadvantaged who so often get forgotten about. They strive to find a cure for cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, AIDS and all the other diseases that require billions of pounds worth of research. They walk into war zones to help the sick and hungry. They offer respite care for family’s who have a child who needs to be looked after around the clock.
The list of all the work done by charities in this country and worldwide is extensive.
The work they do is a necessary part of the world we live in.
So please do not let the sad closure of Kids Company tarnish your view of all charities.
The voluntary sector needs our support and praise for the work they do.
For I know, that as you read this, there are charity workers out there who are currently working 24/7 to ensure that those 36,000 children, young adults and families aren’t abandoned. That they are not forgotten about. That they are given the support and assistance that they need.
And for that we should be grateful.