Charity ‘shocked’ as fundraising manager’s theft is revealed

22 Apr 2024 News

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A charity has been left “shocked and saddened” after a regional fundraising team manager was found to have stolen from the organisation and handed a suspended prison sentence.

The Telegraph reported that former Fire Fighters Charity employee Natasha Mason stole more than £18,000 she had helped to raise at car washing events to fund playing bingo.

In a victim impact statement read to Salisbury Crown Court, the charity reportedly said it had led to its workers being “tarred with the same brush”, concerns about whistleblowing and volunteers feeling their honesty was being questioned.

The court reportedly heard it had also affected the reputation of the charity and could lead to people not wanting to make donations.

Mason’s lawyer Kane Sharpe reportedly said she had been in a toxic and abusive 25-year marriage and was at rock bottom mentally and financially at the time of the offending.

He reportedly said she was “ashamed” of her “terrible mistake”.

Mason was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. 

Charity: ‘One former, trusted colleague’

The Fire Fighters Charity provides services that enhance the quality of life of the fire services community through a range of support to meet their mental, physical and social needs.

Data for the financial year ending 31 March 2023, filed with the Charity Commission, puts its total income at £9.64m and spending at £11.93m.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Every penny raised for the Fire Fighters Charity by dedicated members of our fire services community, and donated by members of the public, helps us to positively impact the lives of deserving fire and rescue service personnel and their families across the UK. 

“Those who work for us in support of fundraising activities therefore have a duty to ensure that all monies raised are safely and securely handled at all times.

“As an organisation that prides itself on its honesty, integrity and good standing within the fire community, we were shocked and saddened to discover that this was not the case with one former, trusted colleague.

“Our gratitude to Wiltshire Police for its investigation of this case.”

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