Welsh equality charity confirms closure due to financial challenges
Welsh gender equality charity Chwarae Teg has announced it is closing due to “a perfect storm of financial challenges”.
The closure of the charity, which was formed in 1992, was confirmed in a statement from its Chair Sharon Williams, who revealed the Welsh Government had rejected an approach for a rescue package.
She wrote: “Despite the best efforts of the recently appointed new leadership team, a perfect storm of financial challenges has left no other option available.
“Staff have been kept informed of the developing situation and are now amid a collective redundancy consultation.
“With the pending loss of European funding, in 2019 Chwarae Teg set up its commercial arm, FairPlay Trading, with the aim of securing a new funding stream for the charity.
“Although this has delivered successful projects empowering equality across Wales, it never became profitable.
“Last week we took the decision to put FairPlay Trading into liquidation. We have also recently been informed by the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO), that the charity received an historic advance payment which must now be addressed.
“Combined with the difficult economic situation facing all charities this has left Chwarae Teg over-exposed financially. In order to do the right thing for our staff, clients and other stakeholders, controlled closure is now our only viable option. An approach to Welsh Government for a rescue package has sadly been unsuccessful.
“We recognise this is desperately sad news for our staff, funders and clients – but above all for the women of Wales who we have been so proud to serve over so many years.
“The team has recently secured a number of new contracts, which showed that the need for our work is as great as ever whilst signalling a sustainable future for the charity. Unfortunately, we have simply been unable to overcome this current financial crisis. We are working with other charities and partners to see if some of Chwarae Teg’s current work streams can be delivered by other agencies.”
Plaid Cyrmu called for action from the Welsh Government following news of the closure.
The party’s spokesperson for social justice and equalities, Sioned Williams MS said: “This is deeply concerning news – for the staff especially – but also because of the invaluable and important research, policy and practical work Chwarae Teg has done to promote gender equality in Wales.”
“Urgent work is needed by Welsh Government to assess the gap that will be left in terms of an authority on the best practice in improving equality in Wales, and any impact on women currently being supported by this charity, including those undertaking qualifications.
“Welsh Government set out its ambition for Wales to be a world leader in gender equality in 2017, they now need to outline the steps they will be taking to mitigate the impact of this news on how this will be achieved without the vital and innovative work of Chwarae Teg.”
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