BeatBullying goes into voluntary liquidation after failing to attract buyers

Antony Batty & Company has been instructed to oversee the process after the charity fails to overcome financial problems

The charity BeatBullying has gone into voluntary liquidation after talks with potential buyers failed, the trustees have confirmed.

In a statement on the charity’s website on Friday evening, the trustees said that that they had not been able to reach an agreement with any potential buyers.

They said: "For the past two months, with the support of our legal and financial advisers, we have engaged in intensive discussions with a number of interested parties with the hope that we would secure the future of BeatBullying Group’s services and fulfil our commitment to staff and creditors.

"It is with sadness and regret we have to report that yesterday these negotiations failed and we have taken the difficult decision to put the group into creditors' voluntary liquidation."

Antony Batty & Company has been instructed to oversee the liquidation process, in which a meeting of creditors will be called within 14 days. It is not yet clear how many staff, who totalled 44 in 2012, will lose their jobs.

BeatBullying gained charitable status in 2003 and went on to win a number of awards for its anti-bullying work with young people. It delivered a range of programmes and workshops in schools and provided counselling and advice to young people who had experienced bullying. The charity also set up MindFull, an online service that provided information and advice about mental health and emotional wellbeing for young people.

But the charity has experienced financial difficulties in recent years and last year made a number of redundancies, sources have told Third Sector. The charity’s most recent set of accounts show that it made a loss of £280,065 on an income of slightly less than £2.4m in 2012. Its latest accounts for the year ending 2013 are currently overdue, according to a spokeswoman for Charity Commission.

The BeatBullying trustees said in the statement issued on Friday: "This has been an especially difficult and frustrating time for those connected to the BeatBullying Group, particularly staff, creditors, counsellors and those who rely on the services offered by Beatbullying and Mindfull.

"We have been, and continue to be, restricted in what we can and cannot say in public, but we appreciate the distress this has caused and would like to reassure everyone that we did everything we could to recover the charity. We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has shown such goodwill and support during this period."

Last week, the Charity Commission said that it had received a serious incident report from the charity and was looking into various concerns. The Cabinet Office, one of the charity’s biggest funders, said that it might try to recover almost £400,000 it had given to the charity.

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