In the course of our work at 3fe we get many requests for charitable and pro bono work and where possible we try to be as generous and accommodating as possible. As a business we believe that we have gained a position of privilege and success over the years and we have a duty to pay that back into society.
One of the more recent request was from a charitable group who asked for some assistance in the work that they do. They explained that they were a charity who helped women who were the victims of sex trafficking and they asked for our assistance to up-skill a group in order to help them find gainful employment in the hospitality industry.
The idea was run past me in a meeting and I took it at face value, decided it was a good idea and gave the staff the go ahead to set up a series of coffee training courses with the aim of helping some people who were in need of assistance in an area that we were well placed to provide. I didn't ask the staff to do a background check, I didn't do any research myself and I took this pitch at face value.
I now accept that the decision I made was at best naive but in truth, foolish.
A number of our followers on Twitter today raised some very concerning issues about the group who approached us, issues that we were completely unaware of until now. I personally accept all responsibility for the poor judgment I displayed and accept all criticism as a consequence of this decision.
As a result of what has come to light, we have decided to cancel the training courses straight away and will spend the next few weeks engaging with those who understand the sex work industry better than we do. We will also seek guidance to help us find a way to contribute in a more positive way.
I'd like to also thank those who reached out to make us aware of theses issues and fully accept all and any criticism that we have received. Its also quite clear that we need to put better vetting procedures in place when we agree to make charitable donations or provide pro-bono services.
In the meantime I would invite any parties who wish to engage with us on this issue to contact me personally at colin(at)3fe(dot)com and appreciate your understanding with regard to this error of judgement.
Colin Harmon, on behalf of 3fe