Charity Matters Aug/Sep 2018 ISSUE 80

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 …

MOTABILITY EXPOSED The Daily Mail has been praised for exposing the greed of those running the Motability charitable scheme whereby vehicles are supplied to …

STEALING FROM CHARITIES
o A six year jail sentence has been handed down to Nadia Ali, finance officer for …
o A one year jail sentence has been handed down to Akbar Siddiqi, a fundraising …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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”.

Charity Matters Jun/Jul 2018 ISSUE 79

HEARTLESS FRAUD Charitable donations and public money has been sponged up by fraudsters claiming to have been involved in the Greenfell Tower tragedy, to get …

NO ONE TO TURN TO A report for Save The Children into the abuse of children by charity aid workers, No One To Turn To, contains horrific accounts of instances …

NICE WORK Fundraising companies are doing rather well out of charities that employ them and their teams of “chuggers” (charity muggers). A report last month in the …

DEATH OF RSPCA SAVIOUR An RSPCA inspector died trying to save 40 gannets that had been trapped on a rock at Porthchapel Beach, Cornwall during Storm Imogen in …

BIAS COULD LOSE CHARITY STATUS The Legatum Institute, a charity think tank, has been warned by the Charity Commission that it could lose its charitable status if …

KNOW YOUR KNOTWEED Conservation charity Plantlife has issued some information about Japanese knotweed following research which showed that less than 20% of …

NO SKINNY-DIPPING The National Trust has issued warnings based on Health and Safety to members of the public seen swimming naked in its lakes at Woodchester …

HEARTLESS FRAUD

Charitable donations and public money has been sponged up by fraudsters claiming to have been involved in the Greenfell Tower tragedy, to get handouts and stays in hotels.

One fraudster, Joyce Msokeri, 47, from Zimbabwe was jailed for four and a half years in April for convincing charity workers she had lost her husband in the fire and faking trauma to swindle £19,000 and claim a room in a Hilton hotel. Another was Vietnamese illegal immigrant Anh Nhu Nguyen, 57 who was comforted by Prince Charles as he falsely claimed he had lost his wife and son to swindle £11,270. However he was a serial fraudster with 17 aliases and was jailed for 21 months in February.

Also jailed, for 18 months in early June was business student Mohammad Gamoota, 31, who falsely claimed to be the son of a victim to swindle £7,000 and a free stay in a hotel. And two fraudsters, Elaine Douglas, 51, and Tommy Brooks, 52, who both came to the UK from Jamaica illegally 16 years ago face jail after swindling £120,000 in benefits by claiming they lived in Greenfell Tower. They also enjoyed a spend of more than £20,000 on pre-paid credit cards and eight months in a four star hotel costing £400 a night, where they complained about the free food they were given.

Police say that they have arrested another nine individuals, eight men and a woman, suspected of the heartless fraud.