Critical Intervention Management for a Community Benefit Organisation
Taking Immediate Action at Tredegar Development Trust
Tredegar Development Trust had been incorporated as a Charity since 1996 to benefit the area of Blaenau Gwent. It had housed, run and managed a wide range of projects of community benefit. Among these projects was Catapult, a youth-based project; a Welsh Government new business starts programme; Tredegar Estates Maintenance; and Communities First to name but a few.
In 2008, the Board of Directors became aware of both financial and management issues within the charity that had previously not been disclosed by the Chief Executive. The main issues derived from poor financial management, a resistance to take appropriate action and lack of planning. The Trust had liabilities to the value of £250,000 due to unrestricted reserves being used to cover project delivery overspend with funding ending and no contingency plans put in place or additional funding secured. Furthermore, expenditure had also not been reviewed in line with the decrease in income.
Once made aware of the seriousness of the situation, the Board of Directors took immediate action.
This included changing the leadership structure and engaging with The Female Alchemist as critical intervention specialists to manage the negative impact of the financial situation.
Bev worked closely with the Board of Directors, Charity Commission, HMRC, Accountants and Companies House to compile and deliver an action plan. This included saving the jobs of staff from within the viable projects of the Trust, overturning an unlawful CCJ, repaying as much of the debt as possible and managing the liability of the trustees, many of whom were concerned that they would have to sell their homes to recuperate the debt.
Bev limited the impact of the insolvency on staff, trustees and grant funders and managed to save the jobs of 6 members of staff. In addition to this negative press coverage was minimised and all stakeholders engaged with and updated regularly which helped to sustain relationships.
The Board of Directors were very unsure about who they could trust to deliver on such an important piece of work, and they knew that bringing in the right company was crucial.
Bev had a track record of managing complex projects through to positive conclusions, and from the first meeting with Bev, the Board had faith in her ability and dedication to deliver the most positive outcome with minimal negative impact. Bev worked tirelessly for months on end with a never wavering dedication to ensure that the liquidation of the Trust impacted as few organisations and people as possible.