Accessible Aid For Heroes: a new Blackpool “heroes” military charity

  1. 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.
  2. Yes, we’re in Blackpool again: see para 7 in my 18 March 2014 post on Families of the Brave, another military charity. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/families-of-the-brave-shows-how-hard-it-is-to-give-with-confidence/) What is it about Blackpool?
  3. The Accessible Aid For Heroes website is: http://www.accessnetwork.org/page/accessible-aid-for-heroes.html. As you can see, the Accessible Aid For Heroes logo, which includes the Union flag, shows a registered charity number – 1152312. Yet the Charity Commission lists that number for new Blackpool charity Accessible Aid (registered 6 June 2013). According to the commission’s public register, the Accessible Aid website is: http://www.accessnetwork.org.
  4. 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.
  5. On his official website, Weston lists the charities that he endorses: http://www.simonweston.com/charities-links/. His list doesn’t include Accessible Aid For Heroes or Accessible Aid (at 27 April 2014).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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”.
  9. So official professional fundraiser BOL doesn’t have a website. Sounds familiar? Neither does Prize Promotions Limited, also of Blackpool, the official professional fundraiser for Afghan Heroes. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/the-fundraiser-the-comedian-and-the-ex-cabinet-minister-the-tale-of-a-military-charity/)
  10. On 27 April 2014, I wrote to Simon Weston to ask whether he is happy for his photo to appear on the Accessible Aid For Heroes/Accessible Aid website.
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One thought on “Accessible Aid For Heroes: a new Blackpool “heroes” military charity

  1. We contributed to this charity when we saw two soldiers collecting in Sainsbury’s, Colne, Lancashire. The date for the prize draw is given on their web site as ’31th’ (sic) May 2014, with the statement that the winning ticket numbers will be posted on the same web page. See
    http://www.accessnetwork.org/page/prize-draw.html
    It is now 5 days later and no winners are announced. I emailed them to point out that this will undoubtedly raise suspicions and will seriously harm the image and prospects of forces aid charities. I received no reply.
    Chris Holmes

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