Petitioning the Prime Minister to protect all people who are vulnerable
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I am petitioning the Prime Minister Theresa May to protect all vulnerable people from abuse, threats and bullying. The most vulnerable people in this country apparently have no one, at present, to investigate their claims of abusive behaviour.
I recently made a complaint to the Charity Commission about the behaviour of some of the staff at a popular charity. My complaint referred to bullying, threats and sexual abuse. Part of their response stated:
"We are not a complaints ombudsman".
What is the Charity Commission for if not to protect vulnerable people from abusive charity staff? I am asking the Prime Minister to create an independent body to ensure that all vulnerable people have someone to complain to who will listen if they are being mistreated.
I wrote to the trustees of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association as recommended by the Charity Commission in May about my complaints. I asked them to arrange for an independent survey of all Guide Dog handlers in the UK so that they have an opportunity to speak openly about the way they have been treated by staff. Surely trustees should be interested in how beneficiaries of their charity are being treated. Three months later and I am still waiting for a response.
This is typical of many organizations these days. Just ignore inconvenient realities long enough and perhaps people will give up and go away. Image and reputation are paramount, whereas “duty of care” to the beneficiaries is somewhere further down the list of priorities.
Guide Dog Mobility Instructors have been bullying and threatening blind and visually impaired people for decades. Staff at one training centre even invented a ghost to frighten people to make them stay in their rooms at night. Instructors threaten people with “do as you are told or you won’t get a dog” or “do as you are told or I will take your dog away”. I have even witnessed people being shouted down and bullied because they expressed an opinion the instructor didn’t like.
The public contribute to charities in the belief that staff can be entrusted to treat the beneficiaries with dignity and respect. There seems to be an endless list of people being mistreated and apparently we don’t have anyone with the power or inclination to protect them.
Vulnerable people need someone independent to investigate their complaints. Not someone who will be swayed simply because charity staff appear to be doing “good work”. Good work can never be an excuse for betraying trust and abusing people who are defenceless!
Vulnerable people are entitled to protection. If the Charity Commission maintain they are not the appropriate body to investigate complaints then surely the Prime Minister should create an Office specifically to investigate complaints from the vulnerable to ensure they are treated appropriately.
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