Charity Matters Apr/May 2017 ISSUE 72. Thank you for your continued support, you can find more articles on eZinematters.com

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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.
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CRUELTY HIGHLIGHTED
Animal abusers could face far more severe sentences if a Private Member's Bill presented by Redcar Labour Co-operative MP Anna Turley is successful.

Campaigners say the current maximum prison term of six months is too lenient when fly-tippers can get up to five years, the maximum term they say animal abusers should face. Apparently nine out of ten offenders avoid jail altogether, despite strong evidence that those who hurt defenceless animals will do, or have done the same to defenceless humans.

Recent cases in the press include two brothers, Christopher Hoar (31) and Adam Hoar (23) who kicked a hedgehog to death in Co Durham and were jailed for six weeks each, Jennifer Lampe(28) who cut the heads off her pet snakes with scissors, drowned a hampster in a fish tank and got away with a suspended sentence, Richard Cheshire (34) from Oldbury who kicked and stamped on his pet bull terrier and was given 120 hours of unpaid work, Owen Nichol (18) from Taunton, Somerset who was filmed by charity Animal Equality kicking cows and throwing and stamping on their new-born calves and received a 12-week suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work, and Michael Heathcock (59) and Richard Finch (60) from Redcar, North Yorks who said they couldn't afford the £300 vet's fee to have their 16 year old dog put down so they attempted to kill it by hitting it on the head at least six times with a hammer, driving a nail into its skull and then burying it while it was still alive. A couple out walking later heard and found the dog, still alive, and took it to a vet, who had to put it down. Heathcock and Finch both received 4 month prison terms.

 

ETHICAL LAPSE
Following a two year investigation the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has now fined some of Britain's largest and best-regarded charities for illegal collection of information on their donors without their knowledge to establish their total wealth, the better to extract further donations. Details of fines for breaching the Data Protection Act follow.

  • ABC £25,000 - Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals RSPCA (December 2016)
  • ABC £18,000 - British Heart Foundation BHF (December 2016)
  • ABC £18,000 - International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW (April 2017)
  •   C £16,000 - Cancer Support UK (Formerly Cancer Recovery Foundation UK) (April 2017)
  • AB  £16,000 - Cancer Research UK (April 2017)
  • AB  £15,000 - Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (April 2017)
  • AB  £15,000 - Macmillan Cancer Support (April 2017)
  • AB  £12,000 - Royal British Legion (April 2017)
  • AB  £12,000 - National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children NSPCC (April 2017)
  • ABC £11,000 - Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity (April 2017)
  • ABC  £9,000 - WWF-UK (April 2017)
  • A    £9,000 - Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (April 2017)
  • A    £8,000 - Oxfam (April 2017)

Offences noted by the ICO were :-

  • A: Covertly finding out information about donors that donors didn't provide, such as telephone numbers and/or email addresses, marked A above;
  • B: Covertly wealth-screening donors and ranking them according to their wealth, marked B above;
  • C: Covertly sharing donor data with other organisations, marked C above.

It would be a pity if donors to the above stopped donating as a result of the revelations since this would hurt the people and animals the charities were set up to help. Perhaps a more constructive way forward would be for the well-paid chief executives of the above to apologise to donors for the grubby behaviour of the organisations under their control, admit that they personally failed to set appropriate ethical standards, and publicly pay the ICO fines out of their own salaries, rather than out of their snooped on donor's donations.

It could go a little way to restoring the lost trust.

 

ROYAL BOOST FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Public awareness of mental health issues has been increased by the admission by Prince Harry to anti-suicide charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) that he didn't come to terms with his mother's death when he was 12 years old, but bottled it up for 20 years, coming close to a breakdown as a result. His brother Prince William, who persuaded him to accept counselling, said that the "stiff upper lip" mindset was dangerous when it affected health.

Men especially hold to the view that it is unacceptable and a sign of weakness to talk about emotions and feelings, leading to the fact that suicide is the biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK.

Since the admission mental health and anti-suicide charities have logged increases in calls to their helplines, with some callers saying that the bravery of the princes on the subject had made them realise they were not alone.

Some newspaper articles have described the princes as "touchy-feely" and "self-absorbed" and journalists have wondered why their father, Prince Charles, who brought William and Harry up on his own after the death of Diana has been "airbrushed out of the picture".

 

FAMILY FUN DAY TO HELP PAEDOPHILES CRITICISED
The Safer Living Foundation, which works to rehabilitate paedophiles, has been criticised for organising a Family Fun Day to raise funds and not making it clear to parents attending what their money was going to be used for.

Some parents have since stated that they would never have supported the event, held on Easter Saturday at the Keyworth United football ground in Nottinghamshire, had they had realised.

However the charity has said that its aims are prevention of paedophile offences as well as psychological help for those who have already offended and has apologised if some who supported them were not aware of this.

 

KIDS CO DISQUALIFICATIONS
The Insolvency Service has warned all former directors of the collapsed Kids Company charity that they could face disqualification.

Those facing bans from boardrooms are former chairman and creative director of the BBC Alan Yentob, founder Camila Batmanghelldjh, Rowan Atkinson's ex-wife Sunetra Atkinson and former WH Smith boss Richard Handover. The public accounts committee branded the directors "negligent" for the way they let the charity run, with much of the £46 million of taxpayer's money over 13 years being given to children, including those of staff, "willy-nilly".

Following the 2015 collapse Yentob was forced to resign from his £330,000 BBC job after trying to intervene in the BBC's news coverage of the shambles. Batmanghelldjh told the press "I'll be back".

 

WHY?
A Bedfordshire charity, Preen, has been the target of mindless and disgusting vandalism over the Easter holiday.

Persons unknown broke into the Biggleswade offices of the charity, which helps disadvantaged local people with low-cost re-used furniture, and smashed electrical items, scattered the contents of first-aid boxes and defecated on the floor. Nothing was taken.

Earlier this year the shop of the Penine Pen Animal Rescue Charity in Oldham was attacked in three separate raids in a week, which caused £1,500 worth of damage, again with nothing taken.

 

JUST POCKETING AGAIN
JustGiving, the charity donations website that makes £20 million a year from donor's generosity has been criticised for refusing to waive its 5% fee for donations to the family of PC Keith Palmer, who was knifed to death by terrorist Khalid Massood.

The page for Keith Palmer was set up by the Metropolitan Police Federation, which is now understood to be regretting using JustGiving.

 

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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. It is distributed monthly to approximately 22,000 selected charities based throughout the UK and is designed to help keep you abreast of issues of potential interest.

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