BLOG: Documentary shows human cost of Kids Company’s collapse

Last night I tuned-in to the BBC to watch the long-awaited documentary on what was (sadly) one of the highest-profile charity stories of 2015. I’m sure many readers did the same. Camila’s Kids Company: The Inside Story proved to be a fascinating, if disheartening, look behind the scenes at the charity during its final days.

For those that didn’t see the programme, I’m not going to review it here or wring a story out of it. In terms of the facts it presented there was very little, if anything, those who have followed the story didn’t already know.

However, the extraordinary access granted to director Lynn Alleway did allow her to provide a personal flavour to the sorry tale that had been largely missing to date. The scenes of service users reacting to the charity’s closure were harrowing at times, and it’s unsettling to think of how some will cope without the support upon which they had come to rely.

But the documentary is unlikely to change many minds about where the blame lies for the charity’s demise, and nor should it. The facts are the facts. There was nothing substantial in the documentary to seriously challenge the consensus view that poor financial risk management was largely to blame for the charity’s closure.

Indeed, by the end the filmmaker herself appears genuinely upset by how the finances of the charity have been managed.

But it’s too easy to forget amid all the finger-pointing and apportioning of blame that there was a real human cost to the failure of Kids Company.

Knowing what we now do, Alleway’s documentary humanises the whole affair and provides valuable insight into the motivations (and missteps) of those involved in what proved to be Kids Company’s last days. You can watch it here.

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