Charity Matters Apr/May 2019 ISSUE 83. Thank you for your continued support, you can find more articles on


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For economic reasons we regret that we are ceasing publication of our Charity Matters free newsletter after this issue.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing and publishing it. Thank you to all readers who responded to us, to praise or condemn.

All best wishes

Mark Ely - Publisher
Peter Cotterell - Editor


A number of charities have joined the boycott of London's Dorchester Hotel, by cancelling events due to be held there.

The moves follow the new Sharia penal code imposed on his people by the hotel's owner, the Sultan of Brunei, which now prescribes the barbaric stoning to death of those convicted of homosexual practices or adultery. These inhuman punishments, more torture than just execution, have caused widespread revulsion and condemnation around the world.

Charities cancelling their events at the Dorchester include Headway, the brain injury association, which has held its annual awards event there for the last 15 years and which has described the Sultan's actions as "abhorrent" and stated that they believe in "equality for all, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality. The Holocaust Educational Trust will not be holding its fundraising dinners there in future and say that the Sultan's new punishments are at odds with "a charity promoting tolerance and fighting prejudice in all its forms". And Magon David Adom UK, which raises money for Israel's emergency services has stated that the "ongoing human rights issues" in Brunei contradict their "core humanitarian values as a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross" and that they will be "actively seeking an alternative venue" for their events.

The Sultan has written to the European parliament pleading for "tolerance, respect and understanding" over the issue.

UPDATE The Sultan of Brunei has now ruled that the death penalty for homosexuality will not be carried out by his state. Under current laws the "crime" is still punishable by up to ten years in prison.

In some countries where stoning is customary but not legal, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, the murder has been carried out extrajudicially by militants and tribal leaders. Other countries where stoning is either customary or legal are Mauritania, northern Nigeria, tribal parts of Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


A Ugandan mother from Walthamstow has been handed an 11 year jail sentence for an act of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on her own 3 year old daughter. She also received a further 2 years for other offences, including distributing an indecent image of a child.

The woman, who has not been named, was told by Mrs Justice Whipple that FGM was a barbaric form of child abuse. The action came to light when the woman's daughter had to be taken to hospital with her injuries and surgeons alerted the police after the mother claimed that her daughter had fallen from a worktop onto a cupboard door.


A fraudster conned a small cancer charity into employing her as a £40,000 a year marketing and events manager by claiming that she had two masters degrees and a doctorate. She also claimed to have cancer and used the time she got off for her fictitious illness to apply for other well-paid jobs, using the same lies about her qualifications.

Patricia Robertshaw, 42, of Barrowford, Lancashire was jailed for four years and five months at York Crown Court after admitting four counts of fraud and one of forgery. She had taken a total of £86, 833, including £19,000 in sick pay, from Yorkshire Cancer Research, and her deceptions first raised suspicion when she claimed to be having radiotherapy treatment at a hospital where it was not available. The final proof came when the charity's management required all staff to provide certificates for their claimed qualifications and Robertshaw's were found to be bogus, with false signatures.


Felicity Huffman, 56, a former actress in the Desperate Housewives series, has admitted that an £11,000 bribe disguised as a charitable donation was paid to university admissions consultant Rick Singer to increase her daughter's examination score for a university admission.

Huffman is one of a number of parents accused of cheating the system. Actress Lori Loughlin, 54, and her husband Massimo Giannulli, 55, are said to have paid more than £380,000 to get their two daughters admitted onto the rowing crew at the University of Southern California. Neither is a rower but both were photographed on rowing machines to create a false profile. One daughter, Olivia Jade, 19, is reportedly an influencer on Instagram and YouTube with more than a million followers, at present, and is endorsed by Amazon, for what it's worth.


The National Trust is researching the links to slavery that an estimated one in six of its properties has, to give visitors an honest and balanced picture.

The research, dubbed Colonial Countryside, is being carried out by Leicester University over the next five years, and up to 100 children aged 10 and 11 from African, Caribbean and South Asian backgrounds will be advising the Trust how best to put the findings over to children.

Aspects under discussion include the looting of treasures from overseas, mahogany furniture made by African slaves, slave-owners' illegitimate colonial children and the shipping of live turtles from Jamaica to make soup for the rich.


The cancer charity Melanoma UK has been threatened with legal action by the Sunbed Association for suggesting that regular use of sunbeds increases the risk of contracting cancer.

Representing the association, London solicitors RIAA Barker Gillette (managing partner Alex Deal) has written to the charity warning them that claiming there is a "proven link" between sunbed use and skin cancer is "factually incorrect". They go on to claim that "responsible use" does not pose a health risk.

The charity is calling for a ban on commercial sunbeds. The NHS has said that the charity is "absolutely right to highlight the risks caused by sunbeds".


A Mind charity shop in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, has been given an estimated £50,000 worth of designer clothes to sell by an unknown donor.

Labels include Prada, Gucci, Valentino and Chloe and shop management say the donor gives on a regular basis.



From Helen Lidgett
Subject: Comment - 'Just Semantics?'

Dear editors

I read 'Just Semantics' and thought it would be helpful to tell you that in speaking with a friend recently whose 13 year old grandson had taken his own life, I feel very strongly that 'taken their own life' is a better expression than 'committed suicide'. I could not use that term with all its implications of crime or sin to her, when she's suffering almost unbearable grief and loss.

Helen Lidgett


From Marian Nicholson
Subject: RE: Charity Matters Feb/Mar 2019 ISSUE 82

“Taking their own life” - definitely the correct phrase as it shows who has the responsibility for the suicide…

Kind regards
Marian Nicholson

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