NI regulator looks into apparent sudden closure of special needs charity

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland says it has an 'open concern' about Something Special, which sent a letter to parents saying it was closing

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is looking into a Londonderry-based special needs charity after it reportedly closed.

Something Special, which helped people with learning disabilities to take part in music, education and creative arts programmes, apparently shut last week.

According to the BBC, the charity recently sent out two letters to parents, the first of which said the charity was transferring its services from an "association" to an "academy".

A second letter on 20 April apparently told parents that the charity was closing down and a new academy would replace it, the BBC said.

A spokesman for the CCNI said: "The commission can confirm that it has an open concern relating to Something Special. As a proportionate regulator, and so as to ensure that the investigation is fair, the commission will not be making any further comment while the investigation is ongoing."

According to the CCNI website, the charity had an income of £113,122 and spent £172,566 in the year to 31 March 2016.

The previous year, its income was £163,959 and its spending was £188,420.

Approximately a third of the charity’s income from its charitable activities was from the European Social Fund.

The charity’s website and its Facebook page are both no longer accessible and appear to have been closed down.

The charity did not respond to a request for comment before the publication of this article.

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