Support the Heroes, the military charity which helps veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, has been ordered to halt all fundraising activity and its assets have been frozen following concerns raised in a BBC programme.
The Charity Commission said it had launched an inquiry into the charity late last week, under new powers it received from the recent update of charity legislation. Among the charities receiving donations are Combat Stress, Blind Veterans UK, Royal British Legion, British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.
A spokesman said: “The commission has directed the charity to suspend fundraising activities until further notice. The decision to open the statutory inquiry follows on from the commission’s recent preliminary investigation into the charity’s activities.”
The Mail on Sunday reported that the charity pays one third of everything it raises to a professional fundraising company, while the BBC programme – The Great Military Charity Scandal – alleged that fundraisers had told potential donors that all funds went directly to the charities it worked for. In response, the charity has claimed that false accusations have been made in an attempt to discredit its activities.
Financial statements show that for the year ending March 2016, the charity raised nearly £120,000 and donated two-thirds of that to charities.
A statement on its website reads: “Help the Heroes is not a ‘fake charity’. It is not and never has been a ‘fraud charity’. All contributions are accounted for, none are or ever have been misappropriated.”
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