Sunday, 20 December 2009

EX-SERVICES AND CHARITIES

An article from My Thoughts My Country about Tax and Charities got me thinking......

http://mythoughtsmycountry.blogspot.com/2009/12/lets-tax-charities-instead.html

I remember some time ago there was an investigation into donations given to Oxfam and it was calculated that for every £100.00 only £1.00 of it reached the people it was intended for; I do not know if that is still the case but I am sure someone will be able to inform us.
Charities are full of people with good intentions who work tirelessly in their belief that they are helping others, these people, rightly, deserve every credit due to them; most of them giving their time and effort free of charge.... but not all.
Chairmen, Boards and Officers of Charities are sometimes on huge salaries for their meagre input into these organisations and that is why I have become so suspicious of charities.
Ex-Servicemen charities are now springing up all over the place and are taking advantage of our emotional attachment to our serving Soldiers involved in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, some of whom have died, sustained life changing injuries or have developed mental problems. A good friend of mine and an ex- Warrant Officer in the SAS gives his time freely to help ex-service men, and woman, who are suffering from PTSD, they receive no Government or WAG funding, although I believe this is being addressed, they rely on donations from the Services and the public, they are a long standing organisation whose reputation is beyond reproach and they deserve every penny they get.
What worry me are those organisations that set themselves up purporting to be a “Charity”. I do know one organisation that has set-up SOTS (Soldiers Off The Streets), it was started by Bill Murray and his wife, Bill was the Welsh Regional Secretary for the BNP and one of those I argued with whilst being a member myself. SOTS was set-up like so many other “Charities” on a whim, it is not registered with the Charities Commission and, apart from his wife, I do not know who the Officers are. We do not know what salaries Bill, his wife or the Officers are on and we have no idea of what percentage of our donation eventually reaches the person it was meant for.
SOTS is not the only organisation that has sprung up to play on our emotions, there are many others and they all need to be regulated and, if necessary, investigated. Being an ex-serviceman I am the last person to tell people not to donate to organisations that are genuinely for ex-service personnel, every penny you give to reputable charities helps. If in doubt check these charities are registered before handing over your well meaning donation.

3 comments:

Chameleon said...

Charity details and copies of accounts can be checked at:
http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/RegisterHomePage.aspx?Language=English

Councillor John Oddy said...

Chameleon,
Yes; thank you.
A search had already proved negative which is why I say we have to be careful.
I, more than most, can understand the need to help ex-services but we also want to know that it's going to them and not into the pockets of some dubious characters.

Marie Murray said...

"SOTS was set-up like so many other “Charities” on a whim, it is not registered with the Charities Commission and, apart from his wife, I do not know who the Officers are. We do not know what salaries Bill, his wife or the Officers are on and we have no idea of what percentage of our donation eventually reaches the person it was meant for."
Maybe you should have asked SOTS about your concerns instead of making it up, SOTS has never said it is a charity but has stated we are working towards being a charity once we have met the charity commisions criteria and was not started up on a whim. None of the staff are on wages they are all volunteer so all donations go to help ex service personnel. If you have anymore concerns please get in touch.
Marie Murray.
Soldiers Off The Street