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Redbridge Council unfreezes disabled womens charity's funding following investigation - but is silent on findings

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 December 2018

Abida Iqbal MBE founded the RDWWA 26 years ago. Photo: Paul Bennett

Abida Iqbal MBE founded the RDWWA 26 years ago. Photo: Paul Bennett

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A charity supporting vulnerable women is pleased to have had its funding reinstated following an investigation - but Redbridge Council remains tight-lipped about the "issues" its investigation uncovered.

The council has confirmed that an investigation into Redbridge Disabled Women’s Welfare Association (RDWWA) launched in July this year, following an unspecified allegation, has now concluded.

A council spokeswoman said: “The findings have been shared with the new trustees of RDWWA and we are pleased that the trustees have been proactive in addressing the issues identified by the council.

“Funding has been reinstated.”

But when asked what the nature of the issues found were, she added: “Our findings are not being made public and we have no further comment to make.”

The charity’s recently appointed chairwoman Firdous Somoroo told the Recorder she is relieved to receive council funds after they were frozen for almost a year.

She said: “It was really worrying but now we are happy that it is over and the allegations are cleared now.

“There are a few issues like making policies to cover a few things which we haven’t done,” she said, citing safeguarding as an example.

“But we are getting it done by a coordinator.”

She added that the charity is still waiting for funding to be released, pending the approval of documentation by the Charity Commission.

RDWWA was founded in 1993 by Abida Iqbal to aid disabled and women in the borough and then expanded into mental health and campaign issues.

It marked its 26th anniversary with a cake-cutting ceremony at the Jack Carter Centre, in The Drive, Redbridge, on Monday (December 17).

As reported in August, Ms Iqbal resigned due to the investigation “and other items that were being said about me”.

The Recorder has since seen a letter issued to Ms Iqbal from the council stating that the allegations made against her were found to be “inconclusive”.

Ms Abida has now been reinstated as the RDWWA’s vice-chairwoman and a new board of trustees has been elected.

The charity scooped the Queen’s Award for voluntary service in 2017.

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