Charity Matters Oct/Nov 2016 ISSUE 69. Thank you for your continued support, you can find more articles on

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Charity Matters is a free eZine, published every two months, which we think you will find a useful and informative resource.

Military charities are under investigation after it emerged that some of their fund-raisers lie to the donating public about how much actually goes to the causes they represent.

Support The Heroes, set up in 2014 to help veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was banned from collecting donations, and closed down on the eve of Remembrance Sunday after their fund-raisers were filmed by the BBC telling donors that every penny collected went to good causes when in fact 33% of the money was paid to a professional fundraising company, Targeted Management Ltd, run by Tony Chadwick from Blackpool. Support The Heroes is run by two of Chadwick's former business partners and has paid over more than £60,000 of the £192,000 it has raised.

Chadwick's firm has, according to the Charity Commission, a contract with another military charity, Our Local Heroes Foundation, to receive up to 80% of the money collected. Of £500,000 donated to the charity in 2015 just £10,000, or 2%, has been spent on projects to help veterans. And the Charity Commission is trying to claw back £2.9 million from another Chadwick firm, Prize Promotions, which collected £3.1 million for Afghan Heroes and passed on £250,000 (8%) to projects supporting veterans.


The NSPCC has set up a dedicated helpline for sexual abuse victims in football since a number of footballers have revealed on national television that they had been abused by their coaches as children, many by convicted predatory paedophile Barry Bennell, now 62, who worked as a talent spotter and coach for Crewe Alexandra and had links to Manchester City, Leeds United and Stoke City.

Bennell has been jailed three times for sexual crimes. Other football personalities known for similar offences include Jim Torbett, the founder of Celtic Boys Club which has close links to Celtic FC, and convicted sex offender and football coach Keith Ketley, who was sacked by Ipswich Saracens when they found out about boys he had sexually assaulted at a club he'd run in Southend-on-sea, Essex.

There is a view that blind eyes were turned by clubs while the peadophile coaches were making them money, a similar suspicion many had with the BBC and Jimmy Saviile.


An internal investigation into the RSPCA's putting down of a 16-year old cat in 2013 and attempt to prosecute its owners for cruelty has seen the charity accused of acting unlawfully, misinforming a vet, hiding evidence and triggering a hate campaign against the cat's owners by making false claims on national radio. The charity admitted behaving in an insensitive and disproportionate way by threatening the cat's owners with fines and imprisonment if they did not allow it to be put down.

Charges against the cat's owners were dropped by the CPS and the RSPCA publicly apologised. The case has been used by MP's anxious to see the charity stripped of its right to bring private prosecutions, a right that everyone has.

Meanwhile in Murcia, Spain, two farmworkers who were filmed laughing as they tortured and killed pregnant pigs by smashing iron bars into their heads and stabbing them in the side with swords walked free from court with one year suspended sentences. The case has generated a petition signed by 66,000 people calling for tougher penalties for animal cruelty, though in a country where it is acceptable that farm animals are routinely tortured and slaughtered in the bullring in the name of sport and entertainment this may be optimistic.


Debt charity StepChange has called for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to intervene on overdraft fines charged by the banks, commonly £45 for sending a computer-generated letter at a few pence cost, and set a cap on the amount banks can charge for unarranged overdrafts.

StepChange, who receive 15,000 calls a month from people with overdraft problems, say that adding to the debt of people with debt problems is a "vicious circle" that further entraps the bank's victims.


Patients with damage due to heart attacks are being offered a £10,000 procedure by a charity whereby their own stem cells from their bone marrow are extracted and injected into their hearts, to improve heart function and energy levels, and extend life expectancy, a treatment not currently available from the NHS.

Heart Cells Foundation was started by London businessman Ian Rosenberg in 2003, after he was given two months to live and had to travel to Germany for the procedure. He died, having had three extra years, in 2006 and the work of his charity is continued by his wife Jenifer Rosenberg OBE.


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published new guidelines aimed at preventing care homes from punishing residents whose relatives complain by restricting or even banning visits from relatives, or evicting the patients.

The guidelines, published last month, follows a case in Somerset in 2012 where a son was prevented from visiting his 93 year old father, who died three months later, and a case at an Essex care home where an 86 year old was evicted after her children complained of poor care there.


The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) will be the UK's first major charity to adopt "opt-in" rules on how it communicates with its donors, though it expects to lose £36 million in donations over five years by doing so.

The rules forbid charities from cold-calling potential donors - they have to wait for donors to contact them and opt in to a relationship. The RNLI expect to lose around 500,000 from the 2 million donors on their database.

Charities have a grace period of two years, that is until the end of 2018, to comply with the revised data protection law, brought in after the sad suicide last May of 92 year old poppy-seller Olive Cooke, who was said to be overwhelmed and distressed by the hundreds of requests for donations from the hundred charities that held her details on their databases.


The Centrepoint charity for young homeless people, a favourite of Prince William, has been accused of "crude hustling" following allegations that they promised wealthy donors special access to the Duke of Cambridge at this year's annual Centrepoint Awards event at Kensington Palace in return for a donation of £40,000+. Kensington Palace has declined to comment on the allegation.

The evening featured Craig David, Phil Collins, Ellie Goulding and Dirty Vegas and was hosted by celebrity top-ranker Jonathan Ross.


The fostering charity TACT has apologised for falsely claiming that a man in his late thirties arriving in Calais as a "child refugee" was an interpreter.

Published doubts about the age of the "child" drew criticism from football pundit Gary Lineker who ranted unintelligently that such treatment of "young refugees" was "hideously racist and utterly heartless" proving to many that he should stick to selling football and crisps.



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The views of the editor are not necessarily those of the publishers.

Peter Cotterell
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