Northern Ireland

Q&A: Fasa

The substance abuse support group Fasa announced on Wednesday that it would be suspending its services due to financial difficulties.

Fasa Chairman Pastor Stephen Reynolds spoke to BBC News NI's David Maxwell.

What has gone wrong for Fasa?

Image caption FASA announced on Wednesday that its services would be suspended due to financial difficulties

We are an organisation that has been a victim of our own success in many senses.

An organisation that has grown to deal with the service demand that we have on the ground within our communities and as a result of that we have had to use our own unrestricted funding to cover those services.

It's now come to a point were we can no longer support that and as a result we have entered into a voluntary insolvency.

Are you saying that you overstretched yourselves?

As an organisation, yes we have, our main concern has always been to deliver services for our clients who are on the ground and in need of the help.

Where there are gaps in services we try to see as a community organisation how we can fill those services.

What can you tell me about the current financial position of Fasa?

The financial situation is that come 31 March we will be overstretched into our overdraft.

We will have debt that we will have to clear and if we go on beyond March that will be unsustainable.

How long has this situation been brewing?

At the end of January we were made aware of our financial situation and we have been working with the figures to see if we can make it work any possible way.

We have been in talks with our banks, we've been in talks behind the scenes with people and at this point nothing concrete has been put on the table.

Therefore we have had to make this choice for legal, moral and ethical reasons for our staff and to keep ourselves right as trustees of the organisation.

Have there been any issues of mismanagement?

I took over from November as chairman and I was asked to become the chairman and the first thing I done as chairman is I asked for a picture of where Fasa was in relation to everything that was going on and from then we have been working on issues that have come to light.

We have called for an external forensic audit to be taking place and we are going to be waiting for the results of that to see exactly where things have went wrong.

Are you saying those who came before you did not manage this organisation as well as they might?

I think we need to wait until the audit is carried out to see what conclusions that comes to.

The charity commission are investigating this organisation - what exactly is being investigated?

The current situation is, I am unsure what the charity commission are investigating, because they haven't made us aware of their investigation.

We approached the charity commission a number of weeks ago and made them aware of the things in Fasa that were going on.

We needed to make them aware because we have a duty as a charity to do that. But there has been no investigation initiated from our perspective.

Image caption Pastor Stephen Reynolds has been chairman of the group since November 2015.

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