Charity reported to Fundraising Regulator over bag collections

29 May 2018 News

A charity has been reported to the Fundraising Regulator after a clothing collection company delivered bags on its behalf without a license.

Recycle Proline Ltd has delivered collection bags to residents in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, on behalf of charity the Children's Hope Foundation.

However, a Richmondshire District Council has said the company has not applied to collect bags for the charity in the area.

The council spokesperson said Recycle Proline does have a license to collect charity bags for Cancer Research and Genetics UK in the area in April, June, August and October but not for the Children’s Hope Foundation.

Ian Woods, a Richmondshire resident and president of the Textile Recycling Association, raised the complaint and has now reported the charity to the Fundraising Regulator.

Tom Doran, chief executive of the Children's Hope Foundation, said Recycle Proline had assured it the bags had been delivered by mistake and would not be collected in the area.

Doran said: “I understand that no collections, licensed or otherwise, are to take place for Children's Hope Foundation in the Richmondshire area.

“I will though be fully investigating the matter on my return to the office and as I have stated, should I find that Recycle Proline have not followed the regulations governing such collections, I will not hesitate to terminate the agreement we have with them.”

Fundraising Regulator statement 

The Fundraising Regulator said it could not give a running commentary on the complaints it received but said rules surrounding charity bag collections are clear.

A spokeswoman said: "It is the responsibility of the charity to ensure any companies they contract for collections are acting responsibly..

"If a member of the public thinks they are not then they should complain to the charity in the first instance. Where the charity’s response is not adequate then a member of the public can bring a complaint to us and we will investigate thoroughly.

"However, where there are concerns about fraudulent or criminal activity, these must be raised with the police and where a local licence is breached or the collector is not in possession of the required permissions, it must be reported to the local authority.

"There is an important reason for doing this: it is a matter of law and must be treated as such."

Past complaints

Recycle Proline came under scrutiny in 2016 when collecting bags for Cancer Research and Genetics UK.

At that time, it was ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority in 2016 to ensure its adverts clarified that it is a commercial organisation, and that not all profits from donating clothes would go directly to the charity.

In March this year, Runnymede Borough Council named Recycle Proline as one of four companies that had been reported by residents as having distributed and collected charity clothing bags in the area without a licence in the past 12 months.

Recycle Proline has been contacted for comment.

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