Favoured charity of royals and celebrities says it will take action against claims over the way it is run
One of the UK’s most successful charities is mounting legal action against newspaper claims it is being mismanaged.
Help for Heroes, which provides care for military personnel and is backed by royalty and celebrities, has come under fire from the media over the last year with claims of bullying and mismanagement.
A recent Mail on Sunday article made a number of allegations suggesting the charity had broken data protection laws and claimed a number of anonymous former employees as sources.
In response Help for Heroes called the article “reckless” and accused it of letting “sensationalism get into the way of fact.”
“By recklessly attacking an organisation which supports and represents the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, the Mail on Sunday is effectively putting at risk those who have been injured in the service of our country by jeopardising the vital support they may receive in the future," the charity’s co-founder Bryn Parry said.
The Mail on Sunday is effectively putting at risk those who have been injured in the service of our Country
As such Parry said the charity had referred the article to its lawyers and this is now subject to a legal complaint.
He claimed the organisation wasn’t given enough time to respond to the allegations and was informed only the day before that the article would be getting published.
Parry added: “We replied in as much detail as possible and told the paper that the claims were false and without foundation. The Mail on Sunday had clearly selected its headline and let sensationalism get in the way of fact.
“We are rebuilding lives and that is vital work; we are privileged to be a part of it and it is an honour to work alongside you all.”
Former army commander Col Tim Collins, who commanded troops during the invasion of Iraq, said Help for Heroes should learn the lessons of the collapsed children’s charity Kids Company, which despite doing good work had rapidly become “too big”.
He said: “I think we have to look at Kids Company and see how it got too big and where the warning signs are. While Kids Company was meeting a need… Miss Batmanghelidjh (Camila Batmanghelidjh, its founder) got bigger than the company.
“The crucial point is the suffering which is being addressed is caused by service to the nation and it is the duty of the nation to fix this.”
The Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, confirmed it is already looking into the way Help for Heroes is being run after claims of mismanagement were raised last year but this is not a formal investigation.