December 8 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Almost 2,000 charities have been caught up in a scandal where £250,000 of donated money failed to reach good causes.
An investigation launched by the industry watchdog has found the Bryan Gunn Appeal, set up in 1993 to tackle childhood leukaemia, is one of the 1,810 charities which has not received cash which was intended for it.
The Charity Commission shut down the Dove Trust, based at Bawdeswell in Fakenham, in July this year after “serious concerns” were raised over the charity’s financial management.
A shortfall of £250,000 between the amount donated to the Trust through its website, and the amount actually handed out to charities, was found.
The Trust’s fundraising page www.charitygiving.co.uk was suspended, as was the Bryan Gunn Appeal because it is a charitable activity of the Dove Trust, sharing the same charity number. The commission appointed an interim manager to take control of the Trust, meaning its trustees Mr Gunn, Keith Colman, and Mark Hall, have all been excluded from its control.
Yesterday it emerged 4,235 fundraising pages set up to fund charities are due to be given an “interim distribution” of funds, which will be the start of serial repayments.
Pesh Framjee, the interim manager of the Trust from Crowe Clark Whitehill, a national tax, audit and advisory firm, would not say how much is due to be given out from the cash available at the Dove Trust.
But he confirmed the Trust’s offices in Bawdeswell had been closed down and that the fundraising website is open for information purposes only. He said: “We are aware that many charities are facing difficulties and we are working to make the interim distribution as quickly as possible.
“One of the charities included in the distribution will be Norfolk-based cancer charity The Bryan Gunn Appeal. As part of this, we will be verifying each charity and good cause and its bank account details.”
Mr Gunn, who played more 477 games for Norwich City and later went on to manage them, set up the appeal with his wife Susan 20 years ago, in memory of their two-year-old daughter, Francesca, who died from leukaemia.
Trustees at the Dove Trust are not able to comment during the statutory investigation.