Charity Commission statutory inquiry report statement from Matt Stringer, RNIB

Good morning Visionary members

Today (25 June 2020) the Charity Commission concluded its inquiry into the governance, management and oversight of RNIB’s safeguarding arrangements, from 2015 to 2018 including in particular the RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning in Coventry. The report criticises RNIB’s approach to safeguarding, governance, and financial management during the period.

We are truly sorry for the failings highlighted by the inquiry and fully accept the Charity Commission’s recommendations. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the significant changes we have made and are continuing to make to RNIB to ensure that they can never happen again.

Over the last two years we have worked closely with independent experts and the Charity Commission to identify the causes of these failures and make immediate improvements. These included: completely overhauling our approach to safeguarding, strengthening our Board, and appointing seven of our eight current Directors in the last two years. If you would like to know more about these changes, I invite you to read our Progress Report which we publish today.

This period marks the low point in RNIB’s 152-year history, but we have already made significant progress over the past two years. We are committed to continue improving our governance and the way in which we engage with and serve those affected by sight loss. We will emerge from this as a better, more determined, and more effective organisation.

This is our first opportunity to tell you about this report in detail. If you have any questions about the Inquiry, its report, or the changes RNIB has made over the past few years, please feel free to call or email me.

I hope you find this information useful and informative; I look forward to working with you as we move on into a new better future.

Kind regards

Matt

Matt Stringer
Chief Executive

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