Client Story: Kids in Action

Westcotts have been looking after Kids in Action for more than two years, and previously Ellie’s Haven for over a decade, prior to their merger.

The Westcotts team supported Ellie’s Haven with their accountancy needs since the charity was formed in 2007 including systems implementation, VAT reclaim on the build, being their trusted advisors as well as providing the core services they required.

Ellie’s Haven is a charity which provides access to a purpose built property in Cornwall to offer families with children facing end of life care a chance to make memories. The team approached Westcotts seeking guidance on finding a suitable partner who could take on the project and ensure the legacy of Ellie and Ellies Haven continued.

Cat Williams, Partner and Head of Charities at Westcotts, assisted by Matthew Keane, Director in the Plymouth Office who had supported Ellie’s for a number of years, led the search on behalf of Westcotts. They set up early meetings to enable the Ellie’s Haven team an opportunity to ask questions and identify the right fit. Kids in Action was found, and quickly became the obvious choice.

Kids in Action, an organisation founded in 1995, provides support and social opportunities to children and adults with special needs. They provide a secure place where visitors can be themselves and encourage participation in social activities in a safe environment, and where family members can benefit from a network of people facing many of the same experiences. In 2006 as an extension to their work they introduced family holidays by purchasing a caravan at Caister on Sea, which has grown to a fleet of four caravans which have hosted over 600 holidays to families with a member that has a disability.

Matthew devised a transition programme which ensured the process was smooth and efficient for all involved. Allowing for as low stress for all parties involved as possible.

Following the successful conclusion of the merger process two years ago, Westcotts were brought on board by the Kids in Action trustees to service their accountancy needs and Westcotts have since delivered a programme of improvements to their accountancy systems. As a trusted advisor, the Westcotts team have worked collaboratively with trustees to help them understand the financial side of the organisation and get more comfortable with understanding how the business is performing.

Matthew Keane, Director at Westcotts said, “It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience to support the Ellie’s Haven, and now Kids in Action team, to ensure their accounting processes support their aims and enable them to continue to provide these fantastic services to families in the area. The opportunities the charity offer is invaluable to so many families who have been able to enjoy new experiences with their children, and I’m delighted to have played a small part in helping these continue.”

Paul Bowen-James, Founder and Chief Executive of Kids in Action said, “We’ve been delighted by the professionalism and positive attitude of the Westcotts team, who have always been on the end of the phone when we’ve needed advice and support. At the start of the merger process, we had a limited understanding of what it would entail, so we were extremely grateful that the Westcotts team have been there every step of the way. As a result, we also have a better understanding of our finances. We can’t thank them enough for all their help and support, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them.”

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