There is no doubt that many of Kids Company’s staff do a heroic job. But to succeed, charities need scrutiny as much as public support.
Camila Batmanghelidjh, the flamboyant founder of Kids Company, is stepping down after 20 years as its chief executive. It is a dramatic departure: the Cabinet Office refused to hand over any more public money unless she went. This despite the fact that under her celebrated leadership, Kids Company has become one of the country’s best known charities for its work with vulnerable children. So what is going on?
The government certainly has a duty to check if the large sums given to Kids Company are used effectively. It has been given about £30 million of public money since 2008, mostly from central government. It is also energetic at raising money from celebrity backers such as Damien Hirst. The rockband Coldplay alone has given £8 million.
Published 04 July 2015