Commission opens inquiry into Buddhist charity over 'serious safeguarding concerns'

29 Nov 2018 News

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Buddhist charity Rigpa Fellowship over “serious concerns about adult safeguarding” at the organisation.

According to the regulator’s announcement, the Commission has been engaged with the charity since August 2017, and its concerns regarding Rigpa Fellowship “have escalated in the course of this engagement” leading to the opening of an investigation. 

The Commission said its inquiry will “examine the charity’s governance, policies and practices with regards to adult safeguarding” particularly in relation to the charity’s “response, general handling and disclosure to the Commission and other agencies in relation to serious adult safeguarding incidents”. 

The regulator will also examine the charity's recruitment and supervision of employees and volunteers; financial controls and its "responsibility to maintain its reputation as a charity". 

There have been national media reports accusing one of its former Buddhist teachers of seuxually abusing his students. 

The London-based charity lists its objects as to “advance the Buddhist religion” and provides “religious education, training and activities”. It also runs a number of Tibetan Buddhism yoga and meditation centres. 

The charity, which also operates in Birmingham, Hampshire, Norfolk and in France according to the charity register, had an income of £324,800 and spending of £370,407 according to its set of accounts for the year ending 31 December 2017. 

Riga Fellowship has been approached for a comment. 

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