Disabled women’s charity ex-chief warns of impending closure as funding frozen amid Redbridge Council investigation

Abida Iqbal MBE. Photo: Paul Bennett

Abida Iqbal MBE. Photo: Paul Bennett - Credit: Archant

The ex-chief of a disabled women’s charity who quit amid a council investigation claims that the organisation is on the brink of closing down due to lack of funding.

Abida Iqbal, former chairwoman of Redbridge Disabled Women’s Welfare Association (RDWWA), also announced that she is visiting the charity today (August 13) in the hope of being reinstated as its vice-chairwoman.

Redbridge Council is investigating RDWWA following an unspecified allegation.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are unable to say anything more until [the investigation] is completed.”

The Recorder has seen a resignation email sent from the former chairwoman dated July 20.

It reads: “I have dedicated many years of my life to establish and support this organisation, however, I now feel that I am unable to continue in this work and will have no further contact with the group, in any capacity.”

It ends by wishing the RDWWA “all the best for the future” in supporting “some of the most vulnerable members of our community”.

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The charity was founded in 1993 to aid disabled and women in the borough and then expanded into mental health and campaign issues.

On Thursday (August 9), Ms Iqbal told the Recorder that she resigned due the investigation “and other items that were being said about me”.

She added: “However I have taken some advice on this, to the best of my knowledge I have not done anything wrong, and my heart and soul is still with [RDWWA].

“I am returning to them I hope as their vice chair.”

She claims that organisation is now overdrawn due to the council freezing its funding.

She said: “Unless Redbridge reinstates our funding I am sorry to say that this group, that last year won the Queen’s Award for voluntary service, will have to close owing to lack of funding.”

Responding to Ms Iqbal’s comments concerning the group’s funding, a council spokeswoman said: “We will not be commenting further as this is an ongoing investigation, which needs to conclude before any decisions can be made with regard to future funding.”