Our Local Heroes Foundation: Prize Promotions Limited again selling wristbands on the street without a street collection permit

  1. Prize Promotions Limited, the official professional fundraiser for Our Local Heroes Foundation, is selling the military charity’s wristbands on Market Street in Manchester city centre without a street collection permit. In 2013, when previously working with Afghan Heroes, Prize Promotions Limited repeatedly sold that charity’s wristbands there, again without a street collection permit. This illegal selling activity raises serious questions about Our Local Heroes Foundation, as it did for Afghan Heroes.
  2. Market Street in Manchester city centre is one of the main shopping streets in Greater Manchester. On the afternoon of 16 July 2014, I happened to be walking through when I encountered an organised team of people in Our Local Heroes Foundation branded clothing selling the charity’s wristbands. Their dark green tops had “Supporting British Forces” on the back. As I walked past, one of them engaged me: “Do you want to buy a wristband for Our Local Heroes?” I stopped and asked the price. “£3”, the seller replied, who was wearing a Prize Promotions Limited I.D. badge on his right chest. On his left was the charity logo.
  3. But Our Local Heroes Foundation didn’t have a street collection permit from Manchester City Council for the city centre that day. I checked with the council. But then neither did Afghan Heroes on any of the days last year when by chance I met Prize Promotions Limited staff selling that charity’s wristbands on Market Street. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/the-fundraiser-the-comedian-and-the-ex-cabinet-minister-the-tale-of-a-military-charity/)
  4. Why does it matter that wristbands are being sold on the street in the name of a charity by its official professional fundraiser without a street collection permit? In short, without a street collection permit, the public cannot be confident in or trust this alleged charity fundraising.
  5. A street collection permit issued by Manchester City Council covers a collection of money or sale of articles for the benefit of charitable purposes, on the streets of Manchester.
  6. There is a formal application procedure and the council can refuse applications.
  7. The permit is valid on the day(s) granted only and there are regulations for performing street collections.
  8. There are also important post-collection requirements: a statement of returns as provided by the council must be submitted to its licensing section no later than one month after the collection has taken place. The returns form contains a statement of account of the proceeds, expenses and application of the proceeds of the collection. There a list of the collectors and the amounts contained in each collecting box is mandatory. Finally, the form must be certified by the promoter and “a qualified accountant”.
  9. A published statement too is necessary. For a collection in the city centre, the council stipulates this appear in the newspaper Manchester Evening News/Manchester Metro. The statement there is a public record of the collection. As well as the amount collected, it includes the amount of expenses and payments, if any, incurred in connection with the collection.
  10. But Our Local Heroes Foundation authorises its official professional fundraiser, Prize Promotions Limited, to sell the charity’s wristbands on the street without a street collection permit. Without a permit, we can be sure of two things. First, this alleged charity fundraising activity isn’t open or transparent. That is, the public can’t scrutinise the money flows. Second, there’s no accountability either without a public record of amounts collected, where, when and by whom. The public can’t hold anyone accountable for the money raised in the name of Our Local Heroes Foundation. It is clear, then, that the public cannot be confident in or trust this alleged charity fundraising.
  11. There’s another reason for mistrust. Last year, when Prize Promotions Limited repeatedly sold wristbands on behalf of Afghan Heroes in the same location, different sellers gave me very different answers to the question, how much of the £3 price goes to the charity? (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/the-fundraiser-the-comedian-and-the-ex-cabinet-minister-the-tale-of-a-military-charity/) That there was such a discrepancy in answers itself shows that the staff of Prize Promotions Limited can be dishonest and lack integrity. They can’t all have been telling the truth; if indeed any of them were. We can only wonder how much of the £3 price actually goes to the charity. Or how little.
  12. In May 2014, I revealed that Prize Promotions Limited retains 80% of the ticket price of £2.50 “prize draw” tickets that it sells to the public in the name of Our Local Heroes Foundation. But neither the highly misleading tickets nor the charity’s website disclose the shameful proportion – and Prize Promotions Limited doesn’t even have a website for the public. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/our-local-heroes-foundation-only-20-of-the-ticket-price-goes-to-the-charity-but-you-wouldnt-know-from-the-tickets-or-website/) In its “prize draws”, Our Local Heroes Foundation acts against the public interest in two ways. First, by approving unreasonable fundraising costs of 80%, especially for such a popular cause. Second, by permitting Prize Promotions Limited to raise funds on its behalf without disclosure of fundraising costs. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/our-local-heroes-foundation-why-are-you-a-patron-of-a-charity-that-works-with-prize-promotions-limited/) I’ve received many angry comments – and emails – from people around the UK, who feel deceived by Prize Promotions Limited and its “prize draws” on behalf of Our Local Heroes Foundation: see the comments on the post https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/prize-draw-by-prize-promotions-limited-for-our-local-heroes-foundation/.
  13. Here I expose how Our Local Heroes Foundation authorises Prize Promotions Limited to sell the charity’s wristbands on Market Street in Manchester city centre without a street collection permit. In 2013, Prize Promotions Limited repeatedly sold Afghan Heroes wristbands on behalf of that charity in the same location, without a permit. But without a street collection permit, the public cannot be confident in or trust this alleged charity fundraising. On sale of wristbands on the street, Our Local Heroes Foundation again acts against the public interest by how it works with Prize Promotions Limited.
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4 thoughts on “Our Local Heroes Foundation: Prize Promotions Limited again selling wristbands on the street without a street collection permit

  1. I also encountered these “salesmen” in Manchester recently. I looked into them on the internet when I got home and was so alarmed by this post that I contacted Manchester Council myself to find out why they were allowing people to flout charity collection laws. Only to be informed that there was indeed a collection licence in place and they were there legally!!!

    “Thank you for your enquiry below. I can confirm that street collection
    permit ref 163524 was granted to Our Local Heroes foundation to collect in
    Manchester City Centre from 15 to 18 July. We do not give out copies of
    permits but we can send you a copy of the regulations relating to street
    trading if you would like a copy.”

    I believe there are some bogus and disreputable charity collection people out there, but on this occasion you appear to have wrongly picked on a legitimate one…
    As the foundation of your post is incorrect will you be removing it and issuing an apology to those concerned?
    This also casts some doubt in my mind regarding your attack on this charity and it’s reputation recently, and the credibility of your assumptions.

  2. Pingback: CORRECTION: Our Local Heroes Foundation DID have a street collection permit for Manchester city centre 16 July 2014 | Dr Alex May

  3. Did they have one for Watford town centre on the 12/09/14?? How can I check?
    I ask because I donated and got a wristband for £3, but then on my way back I caught them harassing a young woman for money and when she said no, they pursued her shouting that her excuse was not good enough.
    Upon witnessing this, I wanted to ask for my money back.
    This does not sound like a legitimate charity to me and if it is, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  4. I have been a victim of these people today in The Range store in Carlisle. They were very aggressive, selling raffle tickets for £2.50 each. I only bought one, although I didn’t want to, but felt very intimidated by them. My friend, who was in a wheelchair, was badgered into buying 2 tickets, and another lady was being persuaded to buy £10-£20 worth, saying that she couldn’t afford it. I have written to The Range head office to complain about having to run the gauntlet of them to get into the store.

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