Charity Support the Heroes ordered to suspend fundraising

Charity Support the Heroes ordered to suspend fundraising
Charity Support the Heroes ordered to suspend fundraising
A Support the Heroes fundraiser told the BBC he was an unpaid volunteer Image caption Support the Heroes fundraisers had claimed they were working as volunteers

A veterans charity that became the subject of a BBC Scotland investigation has been ordered to suspend fundraising by the charities watchdog.

The Charity Commission also issued a freezing order on assets held by Support the Heroes.

It followed secret filming by the BBC that showed fundraisers claiming they were working for free.

However, the charity later acknowledged that its workers were paid commission.

According to its website, the charity – registered in 2014 – said its main aim was to “provide help and support to current and past members of the British Forces suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder”.

Some of the charities that received donations from it have included Combat Stress, Blind Veterans UK, the Royal British Legion, the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

These charities are not not being investigated by the Charity Commission’s inquiry.

During secret filming, fundraisers had claimed 100% of the money donated by the public to Support the Heroes was given to veteran’s causes.

‘Statutory inquiry’

But a later statement issued by the charity said it would be wrong for them to say that all the donations went on helping ex-forces, when fundraiser commission, payments to a management company and running costs still had to be deducted.

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The evidence was broadcast in The Great Military Charity Scandal, broadcast last week on BBC One Scotland.

In a statement, the Charity Commission said: “The Commission opened a statutory inquiry into Support the Heroes on 10 November to further investigate public concerns about fundraising activities conducted on its behalf, and the management of conflicts of interest and arrangements with a professional fundraiser.

“The Commission has directed the charity to suspend fundraising activities until further notice and issued a freezing order on assets held directly by the charity or on its behalf.

“The decision to open the statutory inquiry follows on from the Commission’s recent preliminary investigation into the charity’s activities.”

Support the Heroes said on its website that false accusations have been made about it in an attempt to discredit its fundraising activities.

It insisted it was not a “fake” or “fraud” charity but a real charity, registered and compliant with the Charity Commission and its guidelines.

“All contributions are accounted for, none are or ever have been misappropriated”, it said.

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