Press release

New charity investigations: Families for Survival UK and Save The Age Ltd

The Charity Commission has opened statutory inquiries into Families for Survival UK and Save The Age Ltd.

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The Charity Commission (‘the commission’), the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened statutory inquiries into Families for Survival UK registered charity number 1135545 and Save The Age Ltd registered charity number 1152048. The inquiry into Families for Survival UK was opened on 9 November 2015 and the inquiry into Save the Age Ltd was opened on 11 December 2015.

The Families for Survival UK objects include the relief of poverty, sickness and the advancement of education for people in Kenya, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Maldives. Save The Age Ltd has objects to relieve the charitable needs associated with old age, including the relief of poverty, sickness and social isolation.

The regulator has been monitoring Families for Survival UK’s fundraising practices and financial administration and has provided regulatory advice and guidance to the trustees since February 2014. This monitoring was linked to serious regulatory concerns about the charity’s financial administration and use of its funds, including payments made to trustees and volunteers.

More recently the commission was informed by other agencies that they were investigating concerns that both charities were being used as a vehicle for fraudulent state benefit claims. Evidence provided to the commission by these agencies also casts doubt on the true identity of the trustees and validity of the charities’ financial statements. This information has triggered the opening of the statutory inquiries.

The issues the inquiries will examine include:

  • whether the trustees (current and former) have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law in the administration of the charity

  • the financial management of the charity

  • whether there has been any direct/indirect private benefit to trustees (current and former) with regard to the operation of the charity’s assets

  • whether the trustees have operated the Charity in furtherance of its charitable objects and for the public benefit

  • whether there has been any misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees

It is the commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries are available on GOV.UK.

The charities’ details can be viewed on the commission’s online charity search tool: Families for Survival UK, Save The Age Ltd.

PR01/16


Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that: * charities know what they have to do * the public know what charities do * charities are held to account
  2. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Charity Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.
  3. The commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities.

Press office

Published 12 January 2016