Kent-based equine charity operating again after charity regulator takes action
The Charity Commission has re-instated The National Equine Training Trust onto the Register of Charities, after taking action to protect the charity’s land from being lost.
The Commission has also appointed two new trustees to run the charity.
The charity’s aims are to provide education and training on the care and welfare of equine animals, as well as to prevent and relieve their suffering.
The charity was removed from the Register in 2013 after it was found to be inactive; the trustees had failed to file any annual returns, had not responded to the Commission’s attempts to contact them and there had been no transactions in or out of the charity’s bank account since January 2015.
The Commission launched its statutory inquiry into The National Equine Training Trust in April 2020, after discovering that the charity still owned a piece of land in Sevenoaks, Kent, registered with HM Land Registry as the Gwendoline Walker Donkey Centre.
The Commission was alerted to this after a neighbour of the property, who claimed to have been using the land for several years, filed an adverse possession claim to take ownership of the land. The trustees had not responded to these proceedings.
The Commission therefore took action to intervene in the proceedings to protect the land that belonged to the charity. As a result, the possession claim was struck out, ensuring the land remained in the charity’s possession.
The Commission also exercised its powers to remove the remaining inactive trustees. The inquiry concluded that they had mismanaged the charity by failing to manage its property responsibly. To place the charity on secure footing into the future, the Commission appointed two new trustees in their place, who have since recruited three further trustees. Following its intervention to ensure the administration of the charity is properly taken forward, the Commission re-instated the charity onto the Register on 15 March 2021.
Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations at the Charity Commission said:
This case serves as a reminder that good governance is not a bureaucratic detail – it underpins the delivery of a charity’s purposes to the high standards expected by the public – and without it, in this case, land and assets belonging the charity were almost lost. Trustees must properly manage their charity’s assets and ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect them.
Our intervention has been crucial in enabling The National Equine Training Trust to get up and running again. We took action to protect the charity’s land and assets so it could again deliver on its charitable purposes. I hope, with new trustees in place, this charity will be able to again provide support to equine animals and inspire the trust of the communities it was set up to help.
Latest News from
Regulator bans trustee of multiple inactive charities for ‘elaborate deceit’23/07/2021 10:20:00
The Charity Commission has uncovered a trustee who controlled multiple charities and misled the regulator about his identity
“No room for complacency” – charity regulator welcomes rise in trust, but reminds charities that public expectations remain high19/07/2021 09:20:00
New research shows trust in charities is gradually recovering, to a 6-year high, and that the pandemic is having an uneven impact on charities.
Charity regulator issues alert to overseas aid charities as “more needs to be done” in preventing exploitation and abuse24/06/2021 14:43:00
The Charity Commission has issued a formal regulatory alert urging international aid charities to address remaining weaknesses in keeping people safe.
Regulator finds governance failures by the trustees of former Lancashire charity To Inspire28/05/2021 15:10:00
The Charity Commission has concluded its regulatory compliance case into the former charity To Inspire (formerly Chaigley Trust), finding governance failures by its trustees.
Charity regulator launches inquiry into financial concerns at The Knightland Foundation21/05/2021 15:38:00
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry and appointed two interim managers to a London-based grant-making charity, due to serious concerns surrounding the charity’s governance and finances.
Poverty charity ‘intentionally abused for criminal purposes’ by two of its trustees, investigation finds20/05/2021 16:43:00
Two former trustees of a charity set up to help people living in poverty in Afghanistan intentionally abused the charity for criminal purposes, the Charity Commission has concluded.
Commission welcomes sentencing of children’s cancer charity founder for fraud and theft04/05/2021 10:05:00
The Charity Commission has welcomed the 20-month custodial sentence handed down to Colin Nesbitt for fraud and theft from a children’s cancer charity.
Charity Commission confirms registration of LGB Alliance22/04/2021 11:20:00
The Charity Commission has decided, after careful consideration, that the LGB Alliance (LGBA) should be entered onto the Register of Charities.