As I wrote yesterday, there is an unexplained photo of the well-known Falkland’s War veteran Simon Weston on the Accessible Aid For Heroes website: http://www.accessnetwork.org/page/accessible-aid-for-heroes.html. I said that I had written to Simon Weston to ask whether he is happy for his photo to appear on the Accessible Aid For Heroes/Accessible Aid website. I sent him a link to my 27 April 2014 blog post.
Today I received this response from his agent, Matthew Fisher: “I spoke to Simon and he is aware of the charity and helped to support it when it set up. So the photo and the connection with them is genuine. If there is any further issues please do let me know and I can raise it with Simon.”
On 26 April 2014, I received an email bringing to my attention a new Blackpool “heroes” military charity – Accessible Aid For Heroes. The name is obviously similar to Help for Heroes. “John Jamieson” also submitted his message as a comment at my “About” page. Please read his comment.
Visitors to the Accessible Aid website encounter the Accessible Aid For Heroes logo – and clicking the logo produces the page http://www.accessnetwork.org/page/accessible-aid-for-heroes.html. Beneath the Accessible Aid For Heroes logo, there are two photos, both without a caption. One photo shows Simon Weston, the well-known Falkland’s War veteran (http://www.simonweston.com), with another man that I don’t recognise. The other photo is of a group of what appear to be soldiers, in silhouette. And that’s it: there is no text on the page other than the title, Accessible Aid For Heroes.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Accessible Aid For Heroes is running a “prize draw”: http://www.accessnetwork.org/page/prize-draw.html. The Accessible Aid For Heroes logo appears at the top of the page. The “prize draw” is organised by official professional fundraiser BOL, address: “2-4 Ansdell Road, Blackpool, FY1 5LX”. Its company number is shown as “7099208”. There isn’t a link to a website for BOL.
According to Companies House, company 07099208 is Blackpool Office Ltd. Its registered office is: 2-4 Ansdell House, Ansdell Road, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5LX. Blackpool Office Ltd was incorporated 9 December 2009, by founding director Mark Butcher. Mark Butcher is a trustee and secretary of the charity Accessible Aid. On 27 March 2013, his appointment as director of Blackpool Office Ltd was terminated. On that day, Mrs Abbie Butcher was appointed as director.
There is a Blackpool Office website: http://www.blackpooloffice.co.uk. Although the company says it provides various “business services”, there is no mention of professional charity fundraising, let alone BOL. The website doesn’t show the company number. There are no names of people either – not even on the “Contact Us” page. (http://www.blackpooloffice.co.uk/index.php/contact-us.html) It doesn’t publish an email address: email contact is only possible via the form on the “Contact Us” page. The address is shown as: “Ansdell House, 2-4 Ansdell Road, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 5LX”.
I had referred to Help 4 Homeless Veterans in that paragraph after Andrew Penman’s story on the charity and its fundraiser (“Is Prize Draw the full ticket?”) in his 20 March 2014 column in the Daily Mirror newspaper.
On 21 April 2014, I received a response from a trustee of Help 4 Homeless Veterans, Kevin Hartley, to my 22 March 2014 post. He submitted his comment at my “Contact Me” page.
As you’ll see, Hartley accuses me of “attacking vulnerable ex service personnel”. He also says that the Charity Commission is “trying to prove you wrong”.
But where exactly am I “attacking vulnerable ex service personnel”? And I don’t think the Charity Commission needs to worry about me…
Everyone should read his comment – at my “Contact Me” page.
In my post on Families of the Brave, I showed that there are many issues with the charity’s website. (http://www.familiesofthebrave.org) Well, it has apparently disappeared. Anyone trying to access the Families of the Brave website is redirected to a page on the Wix website (http://www.wix.com) that says at the top: “Hey. This domain used to be connected to a Wix website.” The headline on the page is: “Create Your Own Stunning Website for Free with Wix”.