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Charity founder dies aged 61

This news post is 7 months old

She was feted by politicians and celebrities

Social justice campaigner and charity founder Camila Batmanghelidjh has died aged 61.

She founded London-based Kids Company which supported thousands of inner-city children living in poverty.

Kids Company was feted by politicians Aand celebrities alike with former prime minister David Cameron, artist Damian Hirst and Coldplay endorsing its work.

However the charity became embroiled in years of governance and safeguarding issues, many of which were not upheld by the charity regulator.

Batmanghelidjh resigned after Kids Company ran into financial difficulties with the charity forced to close later that year after police launched an investigation into sexual assault allegations.

A subsequent police investigation found no evidence of criminality or safeguarding failures.

Batmanghelidjh and six others won a High Court battle against disqualification from being directors of other organisations in 2021 with the judge saying that then charity may have survived if the allegations had not been made.

Alan Yentob, who was chairman of Kids Company, said: “The work on transforming the lives of young people - it wasn't a box ticking exercise.”

Veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman, wrote: "Such a sad loss. So many children and young people benefitted from her big heart."

The Baptist minister, television presenter and founder of Oasis Charitable Trust, Steve Chalke, said he would "forever be grateful" to Batmanghelidjh "for her wisdom and depth of love for children".

Batmanghelidjh was appointed CBE and listed among the UK's most powerful women by BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour in 2013.