Charity Matters Aug/Sep 2018 ISSUE 80. 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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TERRORIST ATROCITY TRIGGERS NEW CHARITY
The grieving Australian parents of a 21 year old woman who was one of seven killed at London Bridge and Borough Market last June have founded a charity in her name.

Sara Zelenak had been "having the time of her life" in London, and working as an au pair before she was killed by three Islamist terrorists wearing fake suicide vests who ran through Borough Market stabbing and slashing at those drinking and eating there before being shot dead by police. Sarz Sanctuary is, according to parents Mark and Julie Wallace their daughter's legacy to London and will help those affected by terrorist incidents cope with their grieving.

 

MOTABILITY EXPOSED
The Daily Mail has been praised for exposing the greed of those running the Motability charitable scheme whereby vehicles are supplied to disabled people in exchange for their state mobility allowance. The firm had amassed £2.4 million of public money in unspent funds and claimed the money was badly needed as a cushion against business risks, while its chief executive, Mike Betts was drawing £1.7 million a year and £26 million was being spent on refurbishing its offices.

The figures triggered a number of official inquiries and one has resulted in Motability now agreeing to release £500 million of its reserves to aid the disabled people it was set up to help.

 

STEALING FROM CHARITIES

o A six year jail sentence has been handed down to Nadia Ali, finance officer for charity The Carnival Village Trust, for stealing £784,000 of its funds. Ali, 34, paid the money into her own accounts over a two year period, and disguised the transfers as payments to suppliers and government bodies, stealing invoices to cover her tracks. She admitted fraud by abuse of position.

o A one year jail sentence has been handed down to Akbar Siddiqi, a fundraising organiser for the Tooting Rotary Club after he pocketed £7,500 of funds intended for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Siddiqi, 29, had been made a signatory to the club's charity fundraising bank account and had stolen from it using a cash card.

 

MALE SUICIDE DROPS
The number of male suicides last year dropped to 4,382, the lowest since data was first recorded in 1981, against a total suicide toll of 5,821.

More efforts to reduce the stigma around men's mental health may be having an effect say the Samaritans, but point out that men are still three times more likely to take their own lives.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50.

 

BIG GAIN FOR OXFAM
The death of Richard Cousins, 58, the multi-millionaire CEO of catering firm Compass has resulted in a £41 million payment of most of his fortune to Oxfam.

Mr Cousins died with his two sons, his fiancee and her daughter and his pilot when their plane plunged into the Haweksbury river near Sydney, Australia on New Year's Eve last year. A year before this he had inserted a "common tragedy clause" into his will, which meant that if he were to be killed with his immediate family, which he was the charity would receive most of his fortune.

Earlier this year, and after Mr Cousins had died, senior Oxfam executives were found to be using Oxfam money to pay for prostitutes in Haiti, resulting in thousands of cancelled donations.

 

MOBILE PHONE SCAM?
Charity Citizens Advice are advising all those with mobile phones and a "bundled" contract for handset, data and call charges to check whether or not their minimum contract period has expired.

The warning comes after the charity discovered that millions of customers were still paying out for a handset they already owned, an average of £22 a month, after the minimum contract period, which covers the cost of the handset, had expired. The charity estimates that nearly £500 million has been paid to mobile phone companies in this way and has named Vodaphone, EE and Three as beneficiaries.

The charity found that in 75% of cases it would have been cheaper for the customer to buy the handset separately from other charges. Watchdog Ofcom wants to require mobile phone companies to tell their customers when they are nearing the end of their contract term.

 

ABANDONED AT CHARITY SHOP
The RSPCA are looking for a person who cruelly abandoned an eight-week old border terrier cross puppy in a hand bag, with its paws tied tightly with an elasticated hairband, outside a charity shop in Greenford, Middlesex.

The puppy, named Radley by the RSPCA, was trussed up in the bag with an unopened tin of dogfood and a note that said "Found this dog".

 

FROM OUR READERS

From James Pearson
Subject: THE tower

GRENFELL please, not GREENFELL. Looks like you’re not taking it seriously.

 

From Andrew Stone
Subject: Re: Charity Matters Jun/Jul 2018 ISSUE 79

Whilst your story about scaring the carp (No skinny dipping, Charity Matters, June July 2018) was no doubt thought to be funny, the fact that last year over 400 mainly young people were killed in open water swimming incidents is perhaps less so. The lack of water movement means the temperature just below the surface can still be only just above freezing leading to Cardiac Arrest, paralysis and death of unwary thrill seekers.

Look at these videos an example.

YouTube

YouTube

There are many others produced each year by water companies.

Holding Charities to scrutiny is great but don’t you think editorially adjusting the facts is a bit cheap?

Andrew Stone
Sent in my personal capacity

Editor's response
Dear Mr Stone

Thank you for your email of July 13.

I am horrified at the figure of 400+ deaths in one year of young people from open water swimming and would like to publish your email in our next issue, along with some further information on the death toll.

Would you be able to provide us with the source of the figure, for our further investigations?

Thanks
Peter Cotterell
Editor
Charity Matters

 

Andrew Stone response
Thanks Peter. It is a figure quoted in a number of safety videos published by water companies prior to the summer holidays.

One example is the information published by United Utilities.
https://www.unitedutilities.com/about-us/recreation-sites/reservoir-safety/

I used to work for a contractor to United Utilities. The videos are fairly hard hitting and are often made by UU in conjunction with local students. This follows a number of deaths.

Despite this, deaths still occur.
Manchester Evening News

I’d be grateful if you could publish an update.

Yours,
Andrew Stone

 

Editor's response
Dear Mr Stone

With apologies for the delay I am now responding to your email of July 19 and the original one from you on July 13.

I thought the figure of 400 deaths a year was inflated and note that it is published by the PR department of United Utilities.

According to a non-PR source' the National Water Safety Forum' the latest provisional figure available, from 2016, for drowning deaths following people voluntarily jumping into open water was 188, since 112 of the 300 who drowned didn't intend to be in the water. Please note that these facts are not editorially adjusted, for any reason.

Of course even just one totally avoidable death is one too many and I am therefore happy to make readers aware of the issue, including publishing the links you supplied.

Thanks
Peter Cotterell

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Editor:
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Tel: 01767 312986

peter.cotterell@eou.org.uk

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