For TROUBLED CHARITY HorseWorld (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.3) the race to the bottom is not yet over if whispers emanating from within the equine charity’s Whitchurch Führerbunker are anything to go by…
Shortlisted for an almost-coveted Bristol Post Business Award, the Horseworld management team forgot about their financial troubles and cut loose at the Awards dinner earlier this Summer. Hey, who wouldn’t jump at the CHANCE TO HOBNOB with red-blooded red trouser fetishist Mayor Fergo and other high-falutin’, self-regarding members of the Bristol business community?
So off trotted HorseWorld managing director Mark ‘Not That One’ Owen – plus the whole senior management team and even the chair of trustees – to bask in the recognition of their particular brand of business genius.
Like others attending they made copious use of the microblogging service Twitter to report on events – and as the vino flowed, the messages got raunchier. At a SURPRISINGLY EARLY 9:45pm came a particularly eye-catching tweet from the official HorseWorld Trust account: “Nikki has promised to streak if we get 10 RTs [retweets] or a donation on table 18”…
The ‘Nikki’ in question is none other than Nikki Bridges, the charity’s high-earning Finance Director – the woman in charge of accounts in an organisation HAEMORRHAGING MONEY ever since Owen took up the reins. Possibly not the most becoming behaviour for a charity bean-counter.
Her boss Owen didn’t even have the common sense to delete the OFFENDING TWEET afterwards. Much, it appears, to the annoyance of several trustees and donors who now suspect their money is being used less to support needy steeds and all too often in funding boozy gala dinner nosh-ups for HorseWorld’s MD and his underperforming pals.
It is also notable that while the Finance Director seems WILLING TO STRIP for cash, the day job has been suffering. The Charity Commission reveals that three-quarters of the way through 2013, HorseWorld has yet to submit its annual accounts for the previous year. In 2012 they filed by May – and reported a staggering £647,000 loss. Could the current reporting delay be in any way connected to an even deeper FINANCIAL BLACK HOLE?
Oh, and by the way, HorseWorld won in its award category – for (yes, you’ve guessed it) ‘Communicator of the Year’.