There is a growing furore and incredulity at the behaviour of Camila Batmanghelidjh over the closure of Kids Company, which she presided over as Chief Executive until being asked to “step down” recently.
She has conducted interviews with virtually every radio and TV station in the last 48 hours and the simple message she has put out is that the closure of Kids Company is nothing to do with her, she is not to blame and has taken aim at anything and anyone to try and shift the attention from herself.
Apparently, many of the staff had no idea of the perilous financial position the company was in, and many only heard about the proposed closure of the company on the radio and TV. As one member of staff was quoted as saying “if we knew this was coming we could have put things into place to provide support for the children we are working with.”
We have also had the unsightly presence of Alan Yentob doing the rounds of interviews defending the running of Kids Company with a sanctimonious smirk on his face. Yet he was the chair of the patrons of the organization, which should have overseen the financial management of the company. I suspect he may well come in for some rigorous questioning from Government Ministers who have handed over something like £24 million over the last few years (yes, just read that figure again).
Listening to the radio this morning I heard Sir Martin Neary (former CEO of Berandos charity and adviser to the PM on Children) say that there were too many charities and many needed to amalgamate to become more effective organisations. He then quoted a figure of 164,000 registered charities in England and Wales alone, hearing this I almost choked on my shredded wheat.
Have we become a country of inadequates, people who can’t cope, emotionally incapable and have no backbone that we have to have so many charities in existence (I take it the public schools are included in this figure).
I read recently of a charity that had been set up to provide “counseling and support for those who become distraught at the sight of workmen operating a mastic asphalting machine”………..you couldn’t make it up could you? (or could you?)