Statement from City Hearts in relation to allegations concerning its conduct in Channel 4 Report March 2018
City Hearts (UK) exists to help some of the most vulnerable and exploited members of society. It works nationwide and is currently helping over 600 women, men and children. Thanks to City Hearts, around 4,250 people are now leading fulfilling, independent lives.
Ed Newton, City Hearts’ CEO, said:
“The charity was deeply shocked by the allegations made to Channel 4 by two former clients and one former staff member. The City Hearts Trustees took the allegations extremely seriously and immediately carried out a thorough internal inquiry, then voluntarily employed an independent investigator to review historic and current practices and to ensure that the right systems are in place, so that clients’ needs are met in a safe and suitable environment.
“The investigation found that the allegations dated back to 2011-12 and related primarily to City Hearts Recovery programme for women with life controlling issues, a service which was replaced in 2012. At that time the charity had a very small number of staff and very limited finances. As many clients and staff from 2011-2012 as was possible to contact were invited to speak to the investigator. All current City Hearts staff were given the same opportunity.
“Many of the accusations were found to be unsubstantiated and the findings and recommendations have been voluntarily shared in full with the Charity Commission. Nevertheless, we would like to apologise to the clients to whom we caused distress during this time.
“We have already taken substantial action to improve staff training, and have been working robustly to ensure our policies and values on inclusion, equality and diversity are followed throughout the organisation.”
In June 2019, the Charity Commission closed the case involving City Hearts, finding that the charity’s various policies & procedures, and subsequent correspondence, provided confirmation that:
- A lengthy independent investigation was performed to consider the allegations that had been raised against City Hearts
- Some practices and policies had changed since the alleged incidents, further improvements had been made during the investigative process, and further actions are planned post investigation
- The City Hearts Trustees will adopt a plan of action to implement outstanding improvement measures
- Policies are in place that support the charity’s commitment to protect staff, volunteers and those connected with the activities of the charity, from harm.
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