More than 500 young people face losing out on volunteering trips due to collapse of Raleigh International

More than 500 young people face losing out on volunteering trips abroad after Raleigh International collapsed earlier this month, it has been revealed.

The accountancy firm CBW, which is advising the charity, said it was taking legal advice on whether any of the money raised by volunteers to fund these trips could be recovered, although it warned that the process was likely to take a long time and was “complex”.

Raleigh International will formally be placed into liquidation in June, having ceased trading a fortnight ago.

In a statement, CBW said: “We are aware that there are some 530 volunteers whose trips have been cancelled, most of whom have raised money through charitable platforms or through direct contributions or a combination of both.

“Unfortunately the legal status of these claims is complex and we are currently taking advice on how they should be treated and whether or not any refunds can or will be made.

“In any event, this is a matter that can only be dealt with once the company is in liquidation, and may require an application to court prior to any resolution.”

CBW also said it was “exploring the possibility of resurrecting one or more” of the cancelled foreign trips, but warned that there was currently “little visibility on the feasibility of this”.

The firm has asked volunteers to complete a “proof of debt” document for the charity’s liquidators to consider.

About 50 jobs were lost when Raleigh International closed.

Matt Stevenson-Dodd, managing director of Trust Impact, a consultancy that helps charities with data and impact, told Third Sector earlier this month that his son had raised £4,000 towards a volunteering trip overseas with Raleigh International before the charity collapsed.

He said: “It is so sad that so many young people who were ready to go out into the world to make a difference after spending a large proportion of their teenage years isolated in lockdown have had this opportunity taken away from them now.”

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