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Charity money concerns as websie is closed down
mile charity challenge only to find the fund-raising website he was using had been suspended.
Martin Heuter, aged 52, completed the ride from his Hampden Road home in Malvern to his birthplace in Bonn on Friday, July 12, the same day the Charity Commission closed the site charitygiving.
Mr Heuter was raising money for SpeakEasy NOW, a Worcestershire-based charity working with people with learning disabilities.
Now he and his supporters fear that donations of more than £600 made to the site may be lost.
Sylvia Meyrick, chief officer of SpeakEasy NOW, said: “As a small local charity we are all devastated that we may never receive the money that people have given us.
“We were going to use the money to start up a local selfhelp group for people with learning disabilities. If we are unable to do this, it will be a real disappointment to people.”
Mr Heuter said: “It’s very embarrassing because I encouraged people to donate via the site. What we’ve heard about it doesn’t make us hopeful that the money will get to the charity.
“It’s very disappointing because the ride itself was great. I saw lots of interesting places and met lots of interesting people.”
The Charity Commission suspended the website after discovering a shortfall of at least £250,000 in funds that should have been passed on to charities.
Michelle Russell of the Charity Commission said: “We have taken this action because of serious concerns about the trustees’ management of the fundraising portal and the charity’s financial situation.
“We recognise this will cause concern among the donors and fundraisers who have collected money for the charity through the site and for the charities who are expecting to receive those funds.
“The interim manager will now undertake an urgent, detailed review of the charity’s finances to establish the extent of the shortfall and which charities and donors are affected.”
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