Devon

Torbay homeless charity 'had no records' of donations

Humanity Torbay collecting box
Image caption The charity received more than £55,000 in donations according to its accounts, but there were "no records" of where they had come from

Charity bosses are "assessing concerns" raised in a report into the financial records of a charity for the homeless.

Humanity Torbay, which says it helps up to 250 people a week, had "no records" to prove where donations had come from, an accountant's report shows.

It said "matters of concern" in the records gave "reasonable cause" to believe that accounting records were not kept, as required by law.

Humanity Torbay declined to comment.

The charity, created in 2017, says its aim is to provide "drop-in sessions and appointments for people to obtain advice, food and food bank referrals, clothes".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The Charity Commission said it was "assessing concerns, raised by the independent examiner"

It received more than £143,000 in donations and grants from October 2017 to March 2019, according to its accounts filed with the Charity Commission.

The total received included £55,505 in donations and £87,594 in grants, while the charity spent £121,687 over the same period.

'Unbanked cash'

But according to an independent examination by accountant David Cook, "no records have been kept to match the record of the donations received to the deposits made".

Apart from wages, rent and utilities, most spending was "made in cash from retained unbanked cash or via cash withdrawals", said the report.

"However insufficient evidence have been provided to determine who has authorised these payments and also the reasoning behind them," it said.

Mr Cook said in the report he had "reasonable cause" to believe that accounting records were not kept, as required by the Charities Act 2011.

It requires that accounting records "must in particular contain entries showing from day to day all sums of money received and expended by the charity".

The Charity Commission said in a statement: "We are currently assessing concerns, raised by the independent examiner, relating to the accounting records of the charity Humanity Torbay to determine our next steps.

"We cannot comment further at this time."

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