Queen of Hearts confirms closure

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The Queen of Hearts Foundation board has declined a proposal to continue the organisation under a revised business plan because it would not ensure the long-term viability of the foundation.

The Penrith-based child sexual abuse and domestic violence support service will instead be placed into the hands of a liquidator.

Last month it was reported that the foundation established in 2014 had been unable to raise enough funds through community donations to successfully implement the pre-funded counselling services model.

A meeting of foundation members was called to consider a resolution to place it in the hands of a liquidator.

A proposal from two local counsellors to continue the service was submitted to the board before the November 15 members meeting.

The members adjourned that meeting until November 27 to allow more time to work through the new proposal, which was seriously considered by the board and discussions held with Penrith City Council, one of the major stakeholders in the foundation.

A spokesperson said that while the board was delighted at the possibility the foundation might be able to continue, “unfortunately the proposal relied heavily on community funding through donations and fundraising efforts, the successful awarding of grant applications as well as charging clients for the provision of counselling services albeit on a proposed sliding scale’”.

The board was not confident that funds would be raised through fundraising activities or of successfully winning grant applications, and a fee-for-service model was not in line with the Queen of Hearts Community Foundation stated mission.

“From the experience of the board and those in attendance, we did not believe it would be a viable long-term solution given the struggle it has been the past twelve months to fundraise enough funds to implement the pre-funded model for the provision of the counselling and advocacy services and programs,” the spokesperson said.

“Should the Queen of Hearts Foundation stay trading, we believe it would likely be in the same, if not worse, position than it is now in another twelve months’ time.

“On that basis, and with heavy hearts, the Members resolved to place the Queen of Hearts Foundation into the hands of a liquidator to wind up.’’

Surplus funds would be donated to the national Bravehearts Foundation and unfulfilled grants will be returned to their respective government agencies and providers.

The Queen of Hearts Foundation Board encouraged the Penrith community to continue to support similar organisations such as The Haven Nepean Women’s Shelter, Penrith Women’s Health Centre, Westcare and Bravehearts Foundation.

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