Concerns raised over armed forces charity

Forces support web 2

The Charity Commission is in contact with Forces Support Limited after governance issues were raised

1st August 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Concerns have been raised about a forces charity which operates shops across Scotland.

The Charity Commission has said it is contact with Forces Support Limited over governance concerns, including the organisation only dedicating 14% of its expenditure to charitable spending in 2015/16.

The charity has said it is aiming to create a national network of shops to offer practical support to those who have lost a family member who served in the UK armed forces. It collects clothes and other donations to sell on at its outlets and operates stores in Aberdeen, Dumbarton, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glenrothes and Inverness.

Third Force News was contacted by a member of the public who had looked into Forces Support, having received a donation bag through their door. They raised concerns about the amount the organisation was giving to charity.

The organisation’s 2015/16 accounts show that Forces Support brought in £2.7million, with expenditure of £2.5 million for the same period.

Only 14% of the expenditure went to charitable spending – a total of £375,308  – with £2.12 million being spent on fundraising. During this period, former chief executive WJG McCance was paid £71,400, an increase of almost 40% compared to the amount he was paid for 2014/15.

The Charity Commission said that concerns had been raised about Forces Support, and that it was giving guidance to a new board of trustees who had been appointed.

A spokeswoman said: “The commission has been in correspondence with the trustees of Forces Support Limited regarding governance concerns, including the charity’s expenditure. We understand that new trustees have been appointed and the commission is providing the trustees with appropriate regulatory advice and guidance.”

The organisation aims to raise funds to provide general maintenance in the home and garden to families who have lost someone in the forces. Projects it has worked on include creating memorial benches for fallen servicemen and the charity said it has carried out 479 family support projects in the UK.

TFN contacted Forces Support Limited, which is based in Kidderminster, but no-one was available for comment.

23rd September 2019 by Jim Kendall

Contacted the shop in Barnstaple, some 14 miles from where I live, to donate a number of valuable items for resale in their shop. Very disappointed to be told that I would have to pay £65.00 to have it collected. Too expensive for an OAP to pay to give to a 'charity???' Does not comply with the 'Free Collections' advertised on their hand-out pamphlet.