The trust HAS filed their accounts or at least done their annual return to the Charity Commission. The reason you can only see about 5 years back is because that's all the Charity Commission puts up on the site, i.e. when this years goes in, the first years drops off.
There is no obligation or law which states they must publish their accounts on their own web site and very few charities do, in fact I know of no particular one that does. the obligation is to report them at AGM and if it says so in the Mem. and Art. they are obliged to send you a copy of you ask. Of course sometimes it appears that accounts are a year out of date - don't know how many times I've had to explain this at AGMS.
As you and others have said, and I suspect, that the Trust doesn't raise much 'cash' by old fashioned methods i.e. tin rattling/jumble sales etc. so that means they have to apply to grant making trusts for any income. To apply - and I do know what I'm talking about on this subject, they have to find a grant making trust who's 'giving' plan fits what they want to ask for.
i.e. if they want core costs i.e. to cover stationery, to pay the phone bill, stamps, heating lighting, insurance. Well good luck with that one there is not many about that will cover that.
Mainly grants these days are for 'Projects' some grant makers will give towards this but maybe in different categories. Maybe Health (with varying aspects), maybe Heritage, maybe environmental etc.
Groups/orgs then apply and fill in a lengthy form, send it off with proof that they are functioning body - usually with Memorandum and articles, Annual reports and financial reports.
None of this is easy and it's a good group that has someone with the skills to do it, making what you want to get out of it fit the purpose of the grant. You can also expect a phone interview from and independent adjudicator and if the grant is large - a visit! Some of the larger ones will allow staff costs. Of course to do that the group also has to have the set up to pay the person - and pay their taxes NHI etc. and must employ that person via Equal Opportunities process and know about employment process. I know a couple of groups now, one whose worker is 'employed' by another group with the set up so to do and another group whose worker is self employed. All perfectly legitimate. One thing about grants etc. usually you have to maintain some sort of relationship with the grant making bodies, so they know who you are anyway.
As I said most of the grant funding these days is time limited and the time allowed to spend is shrinking. The grant will probably cover one year. At the end of that year, the group will be normally be asked to provide the 'giver' with a written report of the activity achieved and the financial report for the grant given.
There are a few potty people still giving the odd £500 and not bothering where it goes once it's given, but they are few and far between.
AS I said I would not get too wound up about Hannah's name still being on the Trustee list at CC, if she is a paid worker, it shouldn't be there, but its just an oversight that will no doubt be corrected when whoever in the org puts up the Annual return. If her named position is NOT paid then she is still a trustee. I explained before that if she is paid and still a trustee and her mum is still on the board, then there may well be a special permission from the CC for her to do that. All perfectly legitimate. I explained in my last posting how Hannah's 'job' might be working - all legitimate.
As to the few trustees on the Board, who's fault is that? As long as it does not go below three, then its legitimate too. Today trying to get people to sit around a table, get properly involved in what it means to be a charitable trustee is a shrinking world. I suggest you look at a few more charities on the CC and see how many of them have the full ten or twelve trustees, there won't be many. For all we know, those that have more, probably all but a few are 'sleeping' in between AGM's. I would rather have three fully involved and knowing what they are doing trustees, than nine hanger on-ers putting all their trust in the three.
Of course there are people who bounce in and out of charity/groups and orgs, make a right pain the neck of themselves, fail to gain focus about the object in hand and cause no end of work for those who are striving to fulfil their obligations to the object and funders of the org.
There are some who are enthusiastically willing to help, but can't get their head around the restrictions and no matter how much you explain to them that "no you can't do that because...." still fire off like loose cannon doing more harm than good. Some stubbornly refuse to get on board with any training offered. I know that the trustees of the Trust at present have all had that training, because that is where I've met them - at the training sessions/conferences/workshops/seminars etc.
Are you saying you were an accountant Karsten or a trustee? Have you formally complained to anyone, if so how did you get on.?
I can assure you that if they are getting leases and grants, their accounts have been well and truly checked. Or are you saying there is some corruption going on right through them and the grant making trusts?
By the way - if you are a registered charity and you don't file your accounts on time - you get several emails reminded you before and after the due date. After so long they knock on the door. I repeat, the Trust HAS filed their accounts.