Three directors quit Kids Company over 'funding uncertainty'

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder and head of the charity, says of the departures: 'When our funding is unpredictable, some staff can find the stress intolerable'

Kids Company
Kids Company

Three directors have resigned from the children’s charity Kids Company amid, its founder says, "extreme stress" caused by uncertainty over the charity’s funding.

Eight directors remain at the charity after the departure of Diane Hamilton, interim director of finance and accountability, Mandy Lloyd, director of development (office of the chief executive), and Adrian Stones, director of human resources.

Hamilton was originally contracted to work for the charity until January 2016 but terminated her contract early at the end of January this year. Lloyd and Stones both handed in their notices at the beginning of February and are working out their three-month notice periods. All three have worked for the charity for two years or less.

A two-year government grant of £8m awarded to Kids Company to fund its work, including the reduction of criminal involvement and the re-engagement in education and employment of young people, ends this month.

In a statement, Camila Batmanghelidjh, chief executive and founder of the charity, said: "In conditions of extreme stress, when our funding is unpredictable, some staff can find the stress intolerable.

"The other eight directors of the organisation are still with us, including our finance director, who is on maternity leave. Many of them have been with the organisation for more than six years, whereas the directors who are leaving have been with us for two years or less, one of whom was an interim finance director with a temporary contract."

Batmanghelidjh said in the statement that the charity was being "briefed against" and she did not understand why this was happening.

"What is very evident is that at no time has the Department for Education suggested to Kids Company that we are poorly managed or run," she said in the statement. "All our discussions have been around lack of funding versus an unacceptable caseload, which is predominantly serious child protection and child and adolescent mental health concerns."

The charity, which was founded by Batmanghelidjh in 1996, works with vulnerable inner-city children, young people and their families in London, Bristol and Liverpool and, according to its website, has more than 600 paid staff. Its annual return for the year ending 31 December 2013 shows an income of £23.1m and spending of £22.96m.

Batmanghelidjh said that a London School of Economics survey in 2013 found there were high job satisfaction levels among staff and volunteers at Kids Company.

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