Charity Commission
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£270,000 recovered to aid poverty relief as regulator intervenes in poorly-managed charity

The Charity Commission has published the results of its inquiry into Resham Helping Hand.

The Charity Commission has published a report following its statutory inquiry into Resham Helping Hand, finding that the trustees were responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement. The Commission ordered the charity to wind up and has directed its liquidated assets of over £270,000 to an unconnected charity with similar charitable objects.

The inquiry found that the charity had an unsustainable business model which saw only 5.5% of its spending go on charitable activity in the financial year ending April 2018, as well as little to no governance structure, policies or controls in place.

The charity was founded in 2007 with purposes including the relief of poverty in Pakistan, but the vast majority of its spending went on the renovation and other costs of five investment properties owned by the charity. An independent expert, commissioned as part of the inquiry, determined that the properties could not be rented out in the condition that they were in and would require further significant expenditure to meet the requisite standard to be let out, and any returns would be limited.

  • the regulator first engaged with Resham Helping Hand in January 2018 when the charity’s low income and expenditure flagged it as potentially no longer operating

  • the Commission’s subsequent engagement with the trustees identified a number of regulatory concerns relating to the management and administration of the charity, including its spending on the properties

  • following the trustees’ non-compliance with an action plan issued by the Commission, and a further monitoring inspection, the Commission launched the inquiry

  • in order to safeguard the charity’s assets, the Commission used its powers to restrict transactions from its bank account and appointed an interim manager to the charity

  • the regulator instructed the interim manager to conduct an assessment of the charity’s viability and the ability of the trustees to run it in line with their legal duties and report his findings to the Commission

The Commission concluded that the trustees had been responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement and determined that the charity’s purposes could be promoted more effectively if the charity ceased to operate. The Commission therefore directed the interim manager to wind up and dissolve the charity.

The charity’s assets were liquidated with the Commission directing the transfer of more than £270,000 to an unconnected registered charity with similar objects to support those in need in Pakistan. Following its dissolution, the charity was removed from the register on 16 May 2023.

Steve Roake, Head of Compliance Visits and Inspections, said:

I am glad that our intervention means that Resham Helping Hand’s assets have been transferred to a charity that can put them to good use.

The governance and conduct of the trustees in this case fell below what the Commission and the public expect. They had no clear plan for how to pursue what the charity was set up to achieve, and mismanaged charitable funds on an unviable business model.

The Commission’s actions means that over £270,000 is being applied to help those most in need.

Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
  2. The full inquiry report can be read online.
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