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Charity Commission launches investigation into Ripon Community Link

Action group member Carol Priestley with Stephen Cocker, who is no longer being supported by Ripon Community Link.
Action group member Carol Priestley with Stephen Cocker, who is no longer being supported by Ripon Community Link.

The Charity Commission has launched an investigation into the management of Ripon Community Link.

The decision to investigate comes after mounting pressure from Ripon City Council and families who have been devastated by sudden cuts to the charity’s services.

At Ripon City Council’s last full council meeting, parents spoke of lifelong friends being “wrenched apart” by the Link’s decision to no longer support 12 of its most severely disabled members.

Now, the Charity Commission will look into the financial management of the Link, and its handling of the recent withdrawal of services from a number of members.

A statement from the Ripon Community Link and Ripon Walled Garden Action Group, which has been set up to support families and residents affected by the cuts, reads: “Our investigations of the charity had uncovered information that we felt was serious enough to bring to the attention of the independent Charities’ Commission, and we are delighted that a regulatory review has begun.”

The Chair of Trustees at Ripon Community Link, Kathryn Harrison, said: “Because of the Charity Commission’s involvement, it would be inappropriate for us to make any comment at this stage.”

As well as appealing for an investigation into the financial management of the charity, the action group has been keen to emphasise that all of their campaigning efforts are to help the people who have been affected the most, including those who are yet to secure another placement, and current members who miss their friends and the previous structure of the charity.

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