Dear Branch Members & Supporters,
I am sure you are appalled by the revelations about the governance of Console and concerned about the negative impact of these shocking abuses on Down Syndrome Ireland both nationally and at local branch level.
In light of this, we wanted to share with you what we are doing at a national office level to ensure that we sustain the public’s trust so we can continue to provide essential services throughout the country. We have information on our website, www.downsyndrome.ie, about how we are governed, who our trustees are, how we are financed and the positive impact of our work.
We would also like to advise you of the key messages we have been and will be articulating in the media and to key stakeholders:
We are appalled by the recent revelations relating to the abuse of charitable funds and lack of governance evidenced in the high profile cases currently in the media. Charities have been let down badly by the dreadful actions of a few individuals.
We have worked on behalf of people with Down syndrome and their families since 1971 and in that time, we have built up and maintain a high level of public trust that we value and do not take for granted.
Without the public’s trust and support, we simply would not be able to provide vital services to thousands of people with Down syndrome and their families across Ireland.
We are committed to establishing and maintaining the highest standards of Governance. We believe that it is essential to set and demonstrate high levels of transparency and accountability to all our stakeholders, supporters and funders.
Down Syndrome Ireland publishes its financial accounts annually. They are prepared in accordance with the most up to date accounting standards, FRS 102 (2015) and with UK and Irish GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) (2014). We also comply with the requirements set down by the Charities Regulatory Authority, the Governance Code of Good Practice for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations and the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising created by the organisation Irish Charities Tax Reform, ICTR. In addition, we publish our annual accounts on our website and our trustees are also named on our website.
We work very hard to ensure that all the funds we raise are applied most effectively and efficiently to fulfil our mission to being the primary source of information and support to people with Down syndrome, their families and the professional community, working towards an improved quality of life for our members along with a respect and acceptance of people with Down syndrome as valued members of society.
We hope that with the welcomed increase in powers of the Charities Regulatory Authority, the public’s trust can be restored and that charities, such as Down Syndrome Ireland, can continue to raise vital funds and provide essential services.
If members of the public would like any further information on our work, we would be delighted to oblige. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 015632462 or visit our website www.downsyndrome.ie for further information.
Down Syndrome Ireland & DSI Galway Branch