Thou­sands given to anti-bul­ly­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion by Chil­dren In Need

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

Turner was asked to re­sign from Ac­tion 4 Bul­ly­ing last Septem­ber.

Fisher re­signed last May – two months be­fore the scan­dal was ex­posed.

He claimed he was bul­lied out of his job. He al­leged he had been the vic­tim of a witch-hunt and spoke can­didly to our re­porter.

“The po­lice have said they can see ex­actly what’s go­ing on,” he said at the time. “Those con­cerns have come di­rectly from par­ents about is­sues that have hap­pened since I left the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“This is all very much a per­sonal at­tack.

“I have a meet­ing with the po­lice on Tues­day to clear my name – and AC­TION 4 Bul­ly­ing pro­vided men­tor­ing, sup­port, day trips, cour­ses and a youth club for young­sters.

Both schools and the po­lice re­ferred vic­tims to the char­ity – and it has made a real dif­fer­ence.

Both Chil­dren In Need and the Big Lot­tery, who have ploughed thou­sands into the wor­thy cause, launched their own in­ves­ti­ga­tion last sum­mer.

At that time, Chil­dren In Need had al­ready handed the or­gan­i­sa­tion £16,000 in in­stal­ments. It froze a fur­ther £5,000 due to be handed over last June.

A Big Lot­tery spokesman said it had awarded Ac­tion 4 Bul­ly­ing £9,400.

In the past, West Mid­lands Po­lice also weighed in with cash aid.

At the time, a Big Lot­tery Fund spokesman said: “We take very se­ri­ously our re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure fund­ing raised through the public for char­i­ta­ble work is be­ing used for the in­tended pur­pose.

“We have been made aware of con­cerns about a grant awarded to Ac­tion 4 Bul­ly­ing which we are cur­rently look­ing into. As such, we are un­able to com­ment fur­ther at this time.”

When the storm broke, Ac­tion 4 Bul­ly­ing at­tempted to con­tinue and re-open key rev­enue streams, but the dam­age had been done.

All mem­bers of the 12-strong band of vol­un­teers worked free of charge, but were en­ti­tled to ex­penses. Those ex­penses were scru­ti­nised by po­lice.

The new man­age­ment team re­vealed they were par­tic­u­larly con­cerned by a £900 lunch bill.

They said: “We have a lot of sup­port from par­ents and have done the right thing through­out. We now have a new process in place. We have im­ple­mented changes. Be­fore, there was no one to sign off ex­penses. We have changed that process.

“Things were be­ing done the wrong way, but we have put them right. The main thing is to re­new con­fi­dence in those who fund us, in­clud­ing Chil­dren In Need. We need to con­vince them we will not re­peat the mis­takes made be­fore. We have peo­ple from out­side or­gan­i­sa­tions who have a lot of con­fi­dence in us.

“With the sup­port shown by par­ents, we would be silly to stop. “There is a real need for what we do. There is no or­gan­i­sa­tion like ours in north Birm­ing­ham. The par­ents have given us an out­pour­ing of sup­port.”

The team stressed that Fisher was of­fered help, not bul­lied.

Fol­low­ing this week’s court ap­pear­ance, one par­ent whose child re­ceived help from Ac­tion 4 Bul­ly­ing said: “I am dis­gusted and dis­ap­pointed with their be­hav­iour.

“They were there to help vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren at a time when they needed some­one.” have an ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion which you can feel free to re­search. I was only at the Queen’s gar­den party last week for my work for the com­mu­nity.”

Mr Fisher said that Ac­tion 4 Bul­ly­ing had been his life.

And there is no doubt he en­joyed his pro­file as a lead­ing light in the char­ity.

Af­ter the royal gar­den party, he tweeted: “Such a lovely day at Buck­ing­ham Palace. I’m far from per­fect, but my pas­sion for the work I do can­not be ques­tioned.

“I make mis­takes, but I al­ways learn from them and put them right.

“Isn’t that what life is about?”

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