Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, has teamed up with the Redcar branch of the Royal British Legion to inform the public about bogus charities claiming to be supporting the armed services community.
Concerns have been raised that certain groups are operating on Teesside who purport to be supporting service personnel when in reality they do very little. Some dress up as service men and women to appear authentic and some use names similar to ‘Help For Heroes’ in order to use the leverage of that brand to solicit donations.
Anna and the Legion are campaigning to get the message out to the public about checking before donating.
They had a stall on Redcar High Street on Friday 20th January to help spread the word.
Eric Howden BEM, Chair of Redcar branch of the Royal British Legion, said:
“We want to make the public aware that these groups are operating and that people should always double check that their donations are going to the causes they are meant for.
“These groups are not just taking money from the public incorrectly but are depriving genuine charities of vital funds.
“When collecting on the street, volunteers for the British Legion will always stand quietly, not directly asking for money or rattling tins or buckets. All of our donations - not just a small percentage - go towards looking after service personnel and their families.
“We at Redcar Branch of the Royal British Legion thank the public for their generosity and continuing support.”
Anna Turley said:
“Bogus charities undermine the confidence of the public, especially those who use coercive and sometimes aggressive tactics to gain donations. They also stop important funding from reaching genuine military charities like the Royal British Legion, First Light Trust, SSAFA, and Forward Assist who all do great work locally on Teesside.
“Local British Legion members came to me with their concerns about these groups and I have written to Cleveland Police, Redcar & Cleveland council, and the Charity Commission to see if their approach to regulating these groups is sufficient.
“I urge all residents to double check that they are donating to a legitimate cause.”
For further information on the Royal British Legion, please contact Eric Howden BEM, Redcar Branch Chair, on 01642 290177, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Anna Turley and Eric Howden BEM at the British Legion stall on Redcar High Street Friday 20th January 2017