Fixers trustees 'working to find suitable home' for digital archive

The charity, which is winding down because of insufficient funding, says it is exploring multiple options

Trustees at the youth charity Fixers have sought to reassure supporters that they are working with senior management to find a "suitable charitable home" for its digital archive before it closes at the end of the month.

The charity, which helped young people aged between 16 and 25 reach their potential through positive social action, announced an "orderly wind-down" on 5 June because of insufficient funding.

The majority of the charity’s funding came from the National Lottery Community Fund, but its grant was due to end in 2020.

Last week, supporters of Fixers UK and former "fixers" – young people who collaborated with the charity to produce digital content – signed an open letter expressing concerns about the future of the online resources.

In a statement sent to Third Sector, the Fixers trustee board said the charity was exploring "multiple different options for securing a home for our resources" and were involved in conversations with current funders and staff about the process.

The trustees also invited anyone who had thoughts on the future of the digital archive to contact the charity, saying they were "open to talking to anyone to hear new ideas as we undertake the difficult process of deciding how to best safeguard the Fixers legacy".

Options for the future include rehousing assets in other charities with similar aims, keeping the website going and keeping the YouTube channel active.

A mechanism has been created to hand resources back to young people over a fixed time period, the statement from trustees said. Addressing misgivings expressed by former fixers that the resources would be broken up, the statement said the charity would relocate the digital content only with the consent of the young people involved in their creation.

"All of these proposals require us to seek the active consent from young people before any action can be taken," the statement said.

"These are charitable assets, created by young people, and we must and will ensure beneficiaries feel comfortable with and give their consent to the resources being relocated."

More than 22,000 fixers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland created more than 2,460 projects for the charity, which collaborated with ITV, UTV and STV regional news programmes to showcase their stories.

The board described the process of reallocating resources as "difficult and sad", and emphasised trustees’ commitment to "getting it right".

They said proposals for rehousing the content must come from charities or other not-for-profit organisations with independent governance if they were to be considered, and should adhere to seven criteria outlined by the trustee board, including that the organisation has sufficient financial capacity, a plan for archiving or deleting data and will protect the integrity of the Fixers story.

"We want as much of the impactful work as possible to live on, with the consent of young people and in a way that maintains the spirit and ethos of the whole Fixers enterprise," the statement said.

Trustees added that funding been secured to help finance the work of allocating the resources and expressed gratitude to the organisations working with them to find a solution. They also thanked funders "for their continued understanding and support".

They have invited any concerned former fixers or supporters of the charity to get in touch with concerns by emailing communications@fixers.org.uk.

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