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Commission to order closure of controversial fundraising charity

17 Aug 2018 News

The Charity Commission has ordered the closure of Support the Heroes, a military charity which attracted controversy after spending significant sums with a fundraising company.

The Charity Commission has used one of its new powers which enables it to direct a charity to wind up. This power was among several granted to the regulator in the recent Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016. The regulator has not previously publicly used the power.

The charity had already had its accounts frozen and an interim manager appointed.

Support the Heroes is one of several charities to be investigated over its connection to the same fundraiser – Tony Chadwick. The others include Our Local Heroes and Afghan Heroes. 

In all cases, the charities have been criticised for channelling a high percentage of their funds to Chadwick’s firms, and little to beneficiaries. 

In the case of Support the Heroes, the charity received £191,000 and paid more than £60,000 to Chadwick’s company, Targeted Management.

In 2016 the Commission had used another power for the first time on the charity – ordering it to stop a specific action, in this case fundraising. 

An interim manager was later appointed to take over the running of the charity – a process unsuccessfully appealed to the Charity Tribunal – and the accounts were frozen.

The Commission said in a public notice published today that it is satisfied that “the charity does not operate, or its purposes can be promoted more effectively if it ceases to operate” and therefore it should close down.

There is now a period of 30 days for individuals to make representations to object to the order. Another 30 days will then go by before the Commission can issue the order.

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