Government to hold crisis meeting over Kids Company charity closure

Staff at a high-profile youth charity which works with youngsters in Bristol have been told it will close its doors.

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Kids Company in Bristol will offer services for next month

Kids Company in Bristol will continue to offer temporary service Credit: ITV News

A drop-in centre run by Kids Company in Bristol will continue to offer a service for the next month, the city council has announced.

The Island in Silver Street offers drop-in services and was working with around 200 young people when Kids Company closed on Wednesday.

Bristol City Council has commissioned Creative Youth Network to run the service for the next four weeks, employing nine former Kids Company staff.

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said: "I'm pleased to have enabled the funding of this important service for a longer period.

"Already it has meant a seamless continuation at The Island, and now there will be more time over the summer to support young people, work carefully to meet individual needs and arrange longer-term support where it is needed."

"I am grateful to Creative Youth Network and the dedicated former Kids Company staff who have played a vital role in continuing this service and the all-important personal relationships."

"People who had lost their jobs overnight have come straight back to volunteer, showing true dedication and passion for helping young people in the city."

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PM: Government was 'right' to give £3m to Kids Company

David Cameron has defended the decision to give a £3 million Government grant to Kids Company against the advice of civil servants, insisting it was the "right thing to do" to give the charity "one last chance".

He said: "I think the Government was right to say let's have one last go at trying to keep this charity going given the excellent work it has done for so many young people."

"I'm sad that this charity that has done brilliant work with young children has come to an end," he added. "The most important thing now is that we look after the young children that Kids Company was helping."


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Government to hold crisis meeting over Kids Company

The Government will today hold a crisis meeting to draw up emergency plans to provide support for children following the sudden closure of Kids Company.

Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh Credit: PA

It comes as the charity's flamboyant founder Camila Batmanghelidjh said allegations of abuse were "completely invalid."

"It's much more complicated than people think and that will come out," she told reporters of the 19-year-old charity's closure last night. "I will produce the evidence for it."

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Kids Company boss blames 'media and civil servants' for closure

Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh has blamed "the media and the civil servants" for the charity's closure last night.

The Kids Company charity closed yesterday after 19 years Credit: SWNS

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today programme, she described the 19-year-old organisation as becoming a "football for the media and the civil servants over the summer."

Claims of financial mismanagement were unfounded, she said, asking, "If we were so dysfunctional, why did the Government hand over £7 million worth of taxpayers' money?"

"I failed because I didn't raise enough money," she told Victoria Derbyshire on the BBC. "This Government is being disingenuous. What are these cases doing at our door when they should be at their door?"

As The Guardian reported the charity's demise will leave 6,000 vulnerable children at risk, Ms Batmanghelidjh claimed that she had talked a child out of jumping off a platform in front of a train in a phone call yesterday.

The Government has said it is working with local authorities to ensure the young people affected are looked after.

Bristol Council reacts to the charity's closure

Bristol City Council say their top priority is to continue providing good services to young people and their families.

Reacting to the news that the charity will close George Ferguson said the Council was already working on providing alternate arrangements.

Nothing is more important than the safety and support of vulnerable young people in Bristol. I am making sure that organisations and services across the city are working closely together to provide all appropriate support, prioritising any young people who Kids Company tell us they have concerns about.

– George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

Cabinet Office 'disappointed' charity unable to financially support itself

The Government has supported Kids Company over the last seven years to help it deliver services for vulnerable young people and so we are disappointed it has been unable to move to a sustainable financial position.

The welfare of these young people continues to be our primary concern and we are now working closely with local authorities to make sure they have access to the services they require.

– Cabinet Office


Kids Company founder blames closure on 'rumour-mongering civil servants'

Camila Batmanghelidjh has confirmed her charity is closing Credit: PA

Kids Company head Camila Batmanghelidjh has blamed "rumour-mongering civil servants" and "ill-spirited ministers" for forcing it to close its doors.

In an emotional radio interview Camila said the decision would "abandon a lot of children" and blamed the Government for forcing the charity to close.

Unfortunately the charity's closed and we've had to abandon a lot of children.

That's it, it's the end of Kids Company and actually a bunch of rumour-mongering civil servants, ill-spirited ministers and the media, on the back of a range of rumours, put the nail in this organisation and shut it.

– Camila Batmanghelidjh

Kids Company will officially close its doors at 7pm.

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