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Around 150 people have lost their jobs after learning that their call centre employer in Norwich was to be entered into liquidation.
Insight CCI has said that it succumbed to the burden of having debts worth in excess of £700,000 and could not continue to operate on a viable financial footing after a difficult trading period.
The company’s managing director Mervyn Hill has blamed a clampdown on the activities of call centres that raise money for charities in recent months for his operation’s financial crisis.
Mr Hill explained that Insight CCI had experienced a significant downturn in business in the wake of an incident in 2015 which resulted in the death of a 92-year-old fund-raising poppy seller in Bristol.
Olive Cooke tragically took her own life in May after being inundated with thousands of charity mailings, according to the Fundraising Standards Board (FSB), which has since stepped up its efforts to ensure that businesses involved in charity fund-raising activities avoid causing distress to members of the public.
“We thought we could ride this storm but we couldn’t,” said Mr Hill from Insight CCI. “The negative publicity turned on us, the sector and also charities themselves.”
“Our objective has been to raise money for good causes but we were finding the charities were afraid to make decisions and afraid to use people like us,” he explained.
MacMillan Cancer Support and Diabetes UK are among the high profile charities to have used CCI Insight to raise funds for good causes.
The company, now in liquidation, is reported to be the seventh call centre involved in raising money for charities to have been forced out of business since Olive Cooke’s story came to light.
A company voluntary arrangement (CVA) had staved off liquidation for CCI Insight for a period of several months after November 2015 but efforts to turn the business around were ultimately in vain.
Members of the company’s workforce were given only a few days’ notice of the call centre’s closure in late February, the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press reports.
The Institute of Fundraising issued a statement on the matter that said: “This is very regrettable news that Insight CCI, a fundraising agency with a track record of delivering fundraising campaigns for charities over many years, has ceased operating.
“It is a tough climate for many fundraising organisations at the moment who work to raise important funds for vital causes across the country.”
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