Army of Heroes: yet another bogus military charity from Blackpool

  1. I haven’t written about Army of Heroes until now because I hadn’t seen any of its representatives in action. I was already aware of its laughable website: www.armyofheroes.org.uk. There Army of Heroes states: “We have set ourselves an initial target of £50 000 to be raised so that we can register with the Charity Commission, and start helping our heroes.” That’s right, it isn’t even a registered charity. Yet today (12 December) in Manchester city centre, someone in Army of Heroes branded clothing tried to sell me on the street a wristband in the name of what he explicitly said was a charity.
  2. Location: Piccadilly Gardens. Time: 12.30. Two men wearing Army of Heroes branded clothing with clipboards and wristbands, engaging passersby.
  3. Me to one of the wristband sellers: “Is it for a charity?”
  4. Seller: “Yes, Army of Heroes.” He pointed to the information on his clipboard.
  5. Me: “How much are the wristbands?”
  6. Seller: “£3. All of it goes to the soldiers. We’re all volunteers.”
  7. Me: “What is the registered charity number?”
  8. The seller didn’t answer, but pointed to his clipboard.
  9. Me: “But I can’t see a registered charity number.”
  10. Seller: “Look at our website for information.” He then walked off.
  11. It’s ironic that it was Piccadilly Gardens. Manchester City Council doesn’t permit charitable street collections in Piccadilly Gardens or any of the municipal parks or gardens in Manchester. So even if Army of Heroes was a charity, and the council had granted it a street collection permit, it shouldn’t have been collecting there. But it’s not even a registered charity.
  12. Army of Heroes is yet another bogus military charity from in or around Blackpool. The contact address on the website is in Lytham St Annes, south of Blackpool. It registered the domain name, armyofheroes.org.uk, from another local address – one listed as in St Annes only on the WHOIS records. WHOIS shows Army of Heroes with the company number, 08204649. Yet according to Companies House, this is the number for a company called “Global V.I.P Card Limited”, based in Blackpool. In fact, the company with this number has changed its name twice. First, it was “Global VIP Card Limited”, then it became Army of Heroes. This in turn transformed into the current incarnation, “Global V.I.P Card Limited”.
  13. Who is the director(s) of “Global V.I.P Card Limited”? Er, no one. There were two directors, Mr Reece Haslam and Mr Marvin Trussell. Both have now resigned: Mr Haslam, 10 January 2014 and Mr Trussell, 27 March 2014.
  14. Army of Heroes must be stopped now.
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10 thoughts on “Army of Heroes: yet another bogus military charity from Blackpool

  1. Pingback: Army of Heroes in Liverpool city centre – photo | Dr Alex May

  2. Oh dear, clearly somebody who hasn’t dome their homework properly. I’m just wondering “Mr internet troll”, who hides behind the cloak of anonymity calling yourself ‘Dr Alex May’, do you work for one of the major – so called Army Charities? Because you seem to spend your time attacking the small start up organisations, whom actually do an awful lot of good, compared to the majors, whom have boards of directors earning six figure salaries, and eye watering six figure annual bonuses that would make city bankers jealous!
    Why is it that you attack small organisations like ours, whom have already been thoroughly investigated and been given a clean bill of health by licensing and trading standards?Lets start with your points 1 – 14.

    1 – I have designed the website myself, I’m so sorry that I didn’t spend £10k + having a professional web design company make the website for me. I would rather spend that money on the cause, rather than see it wasted, which is why I created the website myself, because it cost me £0 to create, that is ZERO pounds and ZERO pence in case you have difficulty understanding that. Im sorry that you dont like our website, but you cant please everyone eh!

    Thats right, we are NOT a registered charity, and that is clearly stated on our website, as well as the documentation that our volunteers carry with them. As Im sure your aware, that to become a registered charity, you must first be a limited company or C.I.C and raise £5000 before you can become registered with the charity commission, that is the law.

    2 – Our wristband sellers, are actually classed as promoters, and it says as such on their authorisation forms, and on their photo i.d badges it says – “Promoter” in the staff title section. They are independent sellers, and all have pedelars licenses, they DO NOT need a collectors permit, because they are not collecting money for a charity, they are raising awareness of our organisation, this is clearly explained in the first paragraph of the laminated authorisation lettere that they carry around with them, so as NOT to confuse the general public.

    3 – The wristband sellers would never say the word charity, as their paperwork clearly states that we are not a charity as does the website, and I would love to see a video recording of any of them saying otherwise.

    4 – 11 Thats right, you were directed to read the information on his letter of authorisation as you were clearly confused, and the seller was rightly leading you to the correct information so as there wouldn’t have been any confusion on your part. As we are not a charity, and the sellers all have pedelars licenses, NO collection permit is needed from any council for the wristbands to be sold.

    12 – As Has been already pointed out to you, and explained to you by the wristband seller, and as you have already gleaned from our website, we ARE NOT a charity, so how can we be a BOGUS charity, when we are not even a charity in the first place. We are a registered non for profit organisation, and during the course of this year, we SHALL become a registered charity, but as of todays date – 23/02/15 we are NOT a registered charity, and that fact is correctly stated on our website. Also you have the incorrect company registration number for companies house. The correct registration number is – 09407928
    Global VIP Card is nothing to do with Army of Heroes. When Army of Heroes was started, the founding director registered it under his Global VIP Card number. However Mr Reece Haslam lost interest in the project, and Army of Heroes was put on hold for 10 months. After which I personally removed it from his Global VIP Card Organisation, and he resigned as director, leaving his own organisation directorless.

    Army of Heroes has just one Director, and as of todays date, just two volunteers. Hopefully more volunteers shall come on board as the year progresses. We are not linked with or connected to any other firm from Blackpool. We are based in Lytham-St-Annes which is not Blackpool, it is not even in the same County. Lytham-St-Annes is based in Fylde, whereas Blackpool is a self governing county all of its own.

    13 – As already explained Global VIP Card is directorless, it was set up by Reece Haslam as a rival company to Luke Varleys. Reece is an ex employee of Lukes, and left his company to set up his own rival company. The two people are not friends, in fact they are arch rivals. As already stated A.O.H has distanced itself from Global VIP, and Reece Haslam is no longer part of A.O.H

    14- Army of Heroes shall go from strength to strenght, and we have no plans of stopping.

    Your remarks are not only derogatory, but legally they are slanderous, and I would tread carefully if I were you in making such slanderous remarks, as the law has changed recently with regards to internet trolls like yourself, posting outrageous and slanderous remarks on the internet.

    A simple phone call to ourselves would have answered all of your questions, yet you seem to have gone off on your own tangent and posted complete and utter rubbish about our organisation, as you have done with regards to other organisations on your website. For somebody whom proclaims in your title to be a Dr, you really do go about things in an unprofessional manner
    .

  3. First of all I would like to comment on the great wonderfull Dr who..You seem to be a very busy man complaining about those ppl doing there upmost to help those unfortunate enough to get help from yourself and government officials .this would never be a problem for the likes of you if the government were to put there hands in there.pockets and fund this needed programme to raIse the Wareness that is needed for OUR respected soldiers.I understand your rant but I do not understand your reasoning .only that they A O H is a bogus company / charity.Therefore would it not be in the right intrest to those with the right authority to condone and continue to peruse your so called bogus / charity instead of you being judge and jury without proof.this should and could be omitted as slander.I wish you well in your venture and would like to know your response as to when they are found to be LEGAL..I have been informed that you have also tried to damage other charitable organisations over time .I hope to hear your thoughts sooner rather than later…

  4. Dr Who ? That’s Dr Alex May and his ridiculous accusations……………………………..lets have a look at them.
    The great Doctor “ALLEGES” that all of these organisations that he writes about are bogus! Well lets just have a closer look shall we. First of all lets look at every organisation he writes about that are actual registered charities, we shall deal with promotions companies and non for profit organisations later on.

    The Charities………………………he alleges that they are all bogus! Well, well well. NONE of the directors / founders / owners / controllers of the “Charities” he has written about have been charged or or even convicted of committing any charity fraud! Now…………………………….if these people had been going about setting up “BOGUS” charities, then isn’t it odd that not one person has been convicted, let alone charged by the police for committing such an offence!

    Secondly……………………………….many of these charities have actually done an awful lot of good, and raised between them – millions to help our wounded servicemen and women, and that money has actually been spent on the causes they represent! However, Dr Alex May “Troll” would have you all believe that this money has been spent on Bentley’s, First Class Holidays to the Maldives & Luxury apartments in the Bahamas!
    I find it absolutely incredible that Dr Alex “TROLL” May can make such assertions whence none of the Directors etc etc of these charities have ever been convicted, let alone charged with any offence!!! Dr Alex “Troll” May tries to paint a picture of elaborate frauds conducted, well I’m astounded that he hasn’t offered this treasure trove of information up to the Police, because he CLEARLY is enlightened to more solid and reliable criminal evidence than the Police & CPS have access too!

    The issue of “Bogusness”. If a charitable organisation has a charity number issued by the Charity Commission………………….then……………………it “IS NOT” bogus! There will have been full and due diligence applied, background and CRB (Criminal Records) checks made on the directors / founders etc etc before a charity number would even be granted!
    Yet again, Dr Alex “TROLL” May is obviously a party to more information than what the Government had upon issuing a Charity Number.

    I’m not naming names, but one registered charity, that was given the Dr Alex May ahem ‘treatment’ – actually did a lot of good with the small amount of funds that it raised, unfortunately it folded at the beginning of this year. Now the founder and director of this said charity is now holding a soup kitchen in the same building as the Salvation Army, and he’s paying for the soup kitchen out of his own pocket! Yes that’s right, the charity has folded, but he’s still giving up a substantial amount of his time and providing a soup kitchen out of his own pocket to keep helping the cause!

    Lets deal with promotions companies…………………………..this is another area targeted by Dr Alex “TROLL” May. Yet again, “NONE” of the directors or staff whom work for these promotions companies have ever been convicted for conducting any fraudulent activity! But according to Dr Troll May, they’re all out there on a day to day basis conning the general public, shifting their companies from one director to another and constantly changing names! Again looking further into this, if what Troll May is saying is true, then why is it that none of these persons has never spent as much as one day in prison, let alone been convicted of “ANY” offence of charity fraud???
    It’s interesting isn’t it that many of the UK’s leading charity organisations use promotion companies, and “PAID” professional fundraisers, and even fundraising companies – You’ve all seen them at railway stations, shopping centers and the high street – they’re called “Chuggers”, and they’re all paid a very healthy commission in wages, yet you never see Dr Alex “TROLL” May complaining about any of those!

    The answer is because…………………………………..they’re NOT committing any fraud what-so-ever! These are completely legitimate registered companies, registered at companies house. I have seen photographs of one of these promotions companies, again who’ve been given the Dr Alex “TROLL” May treatment actually handing over a six figure cheque to the charity it was raising funds for, and this was confirmed by the actual charity, and has shown on their accounts!!!

    Lets look at non-profit organisations and registered limited companies whom are working their way to becoming fully registered charities. Yet again, none of the directors have been arrested, charged or convicted of committing any fraud! In fact the opposite – they have been fully checked out by trading standards, licensing and legal departments from the Charity Commission themselves, yet nothing untoward had been discovered, and as always due diligence has been applied! In fact these organisations are also making great strides in helping our servicemen & women.

    So it does make a lot of people wonder why Dr Alex “TROLL” May has gone on his ridiculous quest? Many like myself think he is in employ of the ‘Major Army Charities’, who’s boards of directors earn six figure salaries, and annual six figure bonuses. These Major Charities don’t do a great deal of help, and are only there to help themselves. Not naming any names, but one of the UK’s biggest and most popular army charities is currently under investigation for misappropriation of funds! This particular charities founders paid themselves a 7 figure, yes SEVEN FIGURE salary last year! Not to mention the helicopter pad they had built in their back yard, and the helicopter they bought themselves!

    Maybe Dr Alex May would be better using his unique brand of investigative powers in investigation those organisations, and just as said by your previous poster – who made you Judge & Jury? Your sprouting nonsense about persons / organisations whom have never even been convicted of any offence of charity fraud!!!

  5. I have met your guys …….why did they get up and move on when I mentioned a permission to collect in Lincoln City Centre and said I would be calling the council and Police to verify, why do they take handfuls of coins and put them in their pocket when they are already in a satchel, next time I spot them in Lincoln I will be informing all the people who need to know to visit your guys and verify that if they are acting as a C.I.C. They have all the correct paperwork, Lincoln is a garrison City with a large Active and veteran community, if you are deceiving the public about what you do, and the military find out about it, god help you, the local Regt is just back from Kabul, the local RAF units are on active service permenantly there is a large RAF Regt Sqn who are back and forward to active service zones, please stay away from our city, we have enough charity cover here, including ones that actually help……if you are trying to raise £20,000 to get charity status WHY? At the moment you only need a turnover of £5000 to apply…..if you are aiming to be a military charity, what is Cobesso, have you applied ?…….no you haven’t, as I said before stay out of our city until you can prove you are legit, start with the company number, your policies and procedures, insurance cover.
    Kind Regards
    A proud veteran (of 3 combat zones)

    • We we’re in Lincoln on Wednesday ( we are on holiday In area) and there was someone selling for armed forces veterans £3 for a wristband and magazine.

  6. Pingback: Army of Heroes: Blackpool Council acts | Dr Alex May

  7. If your giving money out back to the service men and women you should have a record of this that is for public viewing……where can it been seen ?

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