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Charity Commission Opens Statutory Inquiry into Charity for People with Learning Disabilities

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Rossendale Valley Mencap, to investigate potential misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity

Rossendale Valley Mencap’s charitable objects are to support people with learning disabilities through help and support to them and their families, as well as the provision of meeting and leisure activities and facilities.

The Commission began engaging with the charity in December 2017 and has since issued two action plans to trustees, to address overdue and outstanding accounting records and issues around the charity’s governance. The charity did not comply with either of these action plans and the regulator is concerned that the charity’s assets may now be at risk.

The inquiry will examine whether the charity’s trustees are complying with their legal duties, including:

  • whether the charity has a sufficient number of trustees who are willing and capable of managing it in accordance with its governing document

  • the extent to which the trustee(s) have responsibly managed the charity’s resources and whether assets are secure or have been lost and/or misapplied

  • their compliance with legal obligations for the preparation and filing of the charity’s accounts and other information or returns

  • the extent to which the trustee(s) of the charity have complied with previously issued regulatory guidance

  • whether there are appropriate policies and procedures in place to safeguard vulnerable beneficiaries

The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if further issues emerge.

Mencap advised the Commission in 2019 that the Rossendale charity is no longer affiliated with it and the group had informed Royal Mencap Society they intended to operate under the name of Rossendale Open House. The charity is also known locally as the ‘Rossendale Valley Gateway Club’. It was previously known as ‘Rossendale Society for mentally handicapped children and adults’ until it changed its name on 12 March 2011. Its registered charity number is 513296.


Notes to Editors

  1. It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries are available on GOV.UK.

  2. 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.

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