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Coldplay look 'at options' to plug gap after Kids Company collapse

Published 09/08/2015

Camila Batmanghelidjh (centre) was the founder of the now defunct Kids Company
Camila Batmanghelidjh (centre) was the founder of the now defunct Kids Company

Coldplay are in talks to rescue part of Kids Company and continue to provide support to hundreds of young people following the charity's sudden collapse.

The band, which is fronted by Chris Martin, is considering rescuing Treehouse, which provided education and therapeutic help to vulnerable children.

The band were big supporters of Kids Company, donating a reported £10 million to it, while Martin's ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow was often photographed with the charity's flamboyant founder Camila Batmanghelidjh.

Phil Harvey, the band's co-manager, said: "We're incredibly proud of the Treehouse's work with children in great need over the past six years.

"It's very early stages, but we're not going to give up on the centre without looking at all options for the future."

Martin and his fellow band members Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion have their own charitable foundation JJ Van Mars.

Opened in 2009 in north London, Treehouse gave practical and emotional support for exceptionally vulnerable children, their families and young people.

It provided education for children who are not attending mainstream secondary school, an after school club for under 14s, and an outreach team.

The intervention comes after Kids Company dramatically folded amid claims of poor financial management and allegations of sexual abuse.

An investigation by BBC2's Newsnight and Buzzfeed News heard claims charity staff knew of complaints that girls aged 16 to 18 had been forced to have sex with male clients of Kids Company in their 20s.

But Ms Batmanghelidjh said police had only recently brought the allegation to the charity's attention, and it would have "absolutely dealt with it very robustly" if it had emerged earlier.

The allegations of sexual abuse were blamed by the charity for the loss of a donation which could have helped secure its future.

It has also emerged Kids Company had received millions of pounds of Government funding, despite major concerns being raised by ministers and senior civil servants that the cash did not represent "value for money".

The charity closed its doors on Wednesday, sparking fears about the fate of the thousands of young people it supported.

Government ministers, councils and other charities are now in talks to draw up plans to continue services and ensure these vulnerable children do not fall through the net.

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