Be careful who gets your charity pennies

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MANY of us have donated our precious pennies to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease which is probably more prevalent here in the south where there is a large retirement population.

However, I have just read a report from the Charity Commission that in the two financial years to the end of March 2008 the charity, Alzheimer’s UK Research Education and Care Ltd, raised £351,000, but spent £361,000, none of which was spent on their charitable activity, Alzheimer’s research!

Instead all the money raised went on paying the acting chief executive’s salary of £40k per year and fund-raising mailshots. What a disgrace! What an insult to all those that have generously donated money! What an insult to all those that have the disease or their carers that unselfishly look after them in sometimes very difficult circumstances!

In fact the Charity Commission said that this charity had never spent any of its funds on the activities it was supposed to have since it was registered on July 19 2006.

It was eventually shut down on February 10 2010 by which time their charitable money had lined many private pockets. Of course, the trustees were grossly at fault and apparently freely admitted so. It is so important to check the charity to which you are going to donate.

It is not uncommon to find that a large proportion of funds raised by charities goes on administration and salaries. Charity money, like taxes, is public money; the trustees work on our behalf to ensure that it is properly used and protected. Don’t be afraid to ask or seek information about a charity from the Charity Commission; it is freely available as their accounts and reports are in the public domain.

Please note that the Alzheimer’s charity mentioned here has no connection whatsoever with the Alzheimer’s charity that is doing excellent work in St Leonards Road, Bexhill.

Tony Smith

Brownbread Stud, Ashburnham