Charities cleared over Olive’s suicide

Charities cleared over Olive’s suicide.jpg newA coroner’s report into the death of Britain’s oldest poppy seller, Olive Cooke, has rejected claims that she was driven to suicide by aggressive charity marketing, after it emerged she had suffered from depression for years.
Cooke’s death – on May 6 – triggered a huge backlash against the sector after her family said she had been “overwhelmed” with direct mail appeals.
It led to calls for a so-called “Olive’s Law”, which has now been added to the Charities Bill, meaning charities will now be forced by law to sign agreements to stop aggressive fundraising.
However, while many more reports of aggressive fundraising have emerged since Cooke’s death – and the Fundraising Standards Board has branded the sector out of control – it was not responsible for her taking her own life.
Recording a verdict of suicide, the coroner said: “Mrs Cooke was a lady who had suffered with low mood and depression for a number of years and there had been a significant attempt to take her own life as long ago as 1999.
“From 2014, she was suffering both from low mood and sleeplessness and continued suicide feelings. I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the proper conclusion in this instance is one of suicide.”
Media coverage of the inquest has been low key to say the least.
The Daily Mail, however, which has been going into overdrive to uncover rogue charity marketing since Cooke’s death, could not help but continue to link the two – despite the ruling to the contrary.
It stated: “Mrs Cooke’s death came after she had received thousands of phone calls and letters from charities asking her for money, prompting an outcry about aggressive fundraising tactics.”

Related stories
Olive’s Law on statute within weeks
Colin Lloyd: fundraising out of control
Save the Children to axe cold calling
Industry staggered by BBC ignorance
Truth hard to swallow for British media
Minister demands charity action
Children’s Society chief gets battered
Charities using illegal marketing data
Charities hit again as row escalates
DMA acts over industry backlash
DRTV ‘most engaging’ for charities
Charities in dock over donor blitz

Print Friendly

To leave a comment please register – it takes less than a minute and is free of charge. You will also get our weekly email update The DM Report (to opt out contact subscriptions@decisionmarketing.co.uk). If you are an existing user, please log in. If you have forgotten your log-in details please email info@decisionmarketing.co.uk to get them reset!

Existing Users Log In
 Remember Me  
New User Registration
*Required field