Anti-racism charity investigated over bullying

Kick it out

Charity Commission launches investigation 

21st December 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

An anti-racism charity is being investigated over allegations of bullying.

Kick It Out, based in London, has 17 members of staff but 10 staff have alleged to have left since 2016 because they found the working conditions intolerable.

Funded by the Football Association, the Football League, the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association, the charity promotes an anti-bullying, anti-discrimination message.

However the Charity Commission has now mounted a probe into its management after several allegations of bullying emerged, with one former member of staff being threatened with legal action after they alleged they had been bullied.

Kick It Out has now said its board is investigating the allegations.

One report claims a “serious incident” occurred at a staff training day in 2017 with Kick It Out’s only action being to ban alcohol during staff events. This allegedly angered staff who felt managers hadn’t taking the incident seriously.

A commission spokeswoman said: “The public rightly expect charities to be safe places where people are free from harm.

“We have been made aware of concerns about the charity Kick It Out. We have opened a regulatory compliance case to assess these concerns.”

Keeley Baptista, a programmes manager, is currently running the charity while chief executive Roisin Wood recovers from illness. Wood is expected back next month. 

The public rightly expect charities to be safe places - the Charity Commission

“In 2017 we were made aware of an incident which involved a member of Kick It Out staff. We offered counselling and support to her and we took all steps to help her.

A statement from Kick It Out said: “The trustees were not informed until October of this year to safeguard the privacy required of the staff member concerned. She decided in September to inform some of the trustees herself.

“They then sent a report to the Charities Commission.

“The member of staff chose at the time not to inform the police but we would support her if she subsequently decided to do so.”