LETTER: Local charities deserve support

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It’s been interesting to read the fundraising review report released recently.

A number of suggestions have been proposed that would appear to go some way to ensuring that all charities adhere to far stricter regulation than before thus providing the general public with renewed confidence to donate to their chosen cause.

We are one of the smaller charities that have always followed and abided by the existing rules and guidelines set out by the Fundraising Standards Board, the Institute of Fundraising, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Information Commissioners Office. We have never outsourced our fundraising to a third party, we have never used call a centre to recruit new donors or to ask existing donors to increase their regular donation.

The recent scandals that have brought the reputation of the Third Sector into disrepute lie very firmly at the feet of the larger national charities that ironically enjoy the comfort of having millions of pounds in their reserves.

Our fundraising efforts have been severely hampered over recent months due to the recent bad publicity and the very future of small charities such as ours has been put at risk by the excesses of the few.

I would urge any individual, organisation or company that does not have a direct affiliation to a particular cause but is seeking to make a charitable donation or give support in a different way, to spend a few minutes to research and find a local charity that provides a vital service to the community, one that doesn’t receive any statutory funding and one that has only a few months reserves.

If you research with that criteria in the Horsham area you will come across the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity where I can guarantee your donation will be spent wisely and will benefit children under five years of age with cerebral palsy.

I received a quote recently from one of our families ‘The Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity is absolutely invaluable and the difference in Sebastian has been remarkable. He now has the confidence he did not have before and is achieving things we believed would never be possible. As a family the school for us is a magical place and we call it our place of hope.’

While new regulations are being discussed and the large charities answer to the authorities and work to get their house in order, we continue to provide a fantastic service to some fantastic children and we fundraise in a professional and ethical manner. We need your support to continue. Please call us on 01403 780444.

STEVE LANE

CEO, Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, Ingfield Manor Drive, Five Oaks, Billingshurst

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