Charity Commission was alerted to possible BeatBullying problems last year, but took no action

The charity was placed into voluntary liquidation this month, since when a number of former employees have made allegations of mismanagement

BeatBullying
BeatBullying

The Charity Commission was alerted to concerns about alleged problems at BeatBullying last year but chose not to take regulatory action, Third Sector has learned.

The anti-bullying charity was placed into voluntary liquidation by the trustees at the start of November after experiencing financial difficulties.

A number of former employees have recently spoken out about alleged mismanagement of the charity and a serious incident report was filed with the commission in late October, although it is not clear what matters were raised in that report.

A spokeswoman for the commission said that concerns about the financial status of the charity had been raised with it in 2013.

She said in a statement: "We put the concerns to the charity’s trustees, who were able to reassure us as to the charity’s finances and management. We therefore determined that, at that time, the trustees had matters in hand and there was no need for further regulatory action."

She said that the charity was now the subject of a compliance case.

One former BeatBullying staff member, who asked not to be identified, expressed disappointment at the commission’s handling of the complaint.

"The failure of the Charity Commission to act in 2013 confirms our fears at the time: that we had nowhere to turn to and nothing to achieve from speaking out apart from placing ourselves at risk," the former staff member said. "And that is both terrifying and indicative of much wider problems with charity regulation.

"For us, there was no regulation, just an endless circle of being passed back to the very people who were the cause of the problem."

A spokesman for BeatBullying said that it was unable to speak about the circumstances that led to the charity’s closure at the moment.

In a separate development, the youth charities Get Connected and YouthNet have said that they plan to work more closely together after the closure of BeatBullying.

Get Connected provides a free helpline for under-25s who are experiencing problems. YouthNet provides online advice and support to young people mainly through its website TheSite.org.

Jessica Taplin, chief executive of Get Connected, said in a statement: "The closure of BeatBullying means less education on how to prevent and deal with bullying. At Get Connected, our trained volunteers help hundreds of children and young people every month by phone, text, email and web chat with whatever issues they are facing, from bullying and depression to self-harm. It’s crucial that young people have somewhere safe and reliable to turn to."

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