Penny Appeal at centre of investigation into safeguarding issues at orphanage
A Wakefield-based charity has referred itself to the charity commission after allegations were made about safeguarding at one of their orphanages.
The Penny Appeal, which is based on Cross Street, in the city centre, said it had been made aware of allegations of a safeguarding issue at a community-based organisation in The Gambia.
The organisation, which cares for children and young people, is run by partner organisation Penny Appeal Gambia.
In a statement, the Penny Appeal said they were "truly horrified" by the allegations, and had commissioned an investigation into "all related matters".
The Charity Commission, which regulates charities across England and Wales, has also been informed.
The full statement reads: "On 13th August 2020 Penny Appeal became aware of an alleged safeguarding issue in Gambia at a local community-based organisation supported by our partner organisation, Penny Appeal Gambia.
"As an organisation, we are truly horrified at the allegations. Protecting children and young people from harm is of the highest possible level of importance to us. We recognise and accept our responsibility to ensure our partners provide an environment which promotes the safety of our beneficiaries, especially young people, at all times.
"As such, we have started the commissioning of a full and independent investigation into all related matters. Furthermore, we are reaching out to the relevant authorities in Gambia and have informed the Charity Commission of this through a Serious Incident Report.
"All safeguarding concerns are treated with the highest level of seriousness and priority. Our primary concern has and will always be the wellbeing of those in need.
"Further updates will be posted as the investigation is underway."