Charity campaigner speaks of her disgust after national helpline given official warning
A veteran charity campaigner and fundraiser has spoken of her disgust and outrage after a national breast care charity was given an official warning over financial irregularities.
Derbyshire-based National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline is the first to have received an official warning from the Charity Commission.
According to the BBC, the accounts for the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline for 2013, 2014 and 2015 showed it spent 6%, 3.4% and 2.8% respectively of annual donations on “charitable activities”, such as running the helpline. The average spend for a charity is currently 83%.
Gina Long MBE, who has devoted more than 35 years to the charity sector, said she was disgusted by the news – and feared it could have an effect on other national and local charities.
Gina said: “When it comes to trust and transparency, I am disgusted and appalled by this news.
“It could be harmful to all charities as kind-hearted donors and fundraisers should be 100% confident about where their money is going.
“I think there should be a threshold which forces charities to spend a set majority percentage of what they raise on the people they are meant to be supporting.”
Gina has raised millions of pounds for local and national charities during an impressive life’s work which has included organising global online auctions supporting Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breast Cancer Now.
But after growing increasingly dismayed about the lack of transparency among some charities, she felt compelled to start her own charitable trust, GeeWizz, In December 2015.
After publishing her first set of accounts, Gina said her decision to launch GeeWizz was vindicated after providing life-changing equipment for disabled youngsters and those affected by cancer.
Gina said: “I am very proud to announce that 91.5p in every £1 raised by GeeWizz goes directly to helping those most in need. And I am also very proud and happy to still work with a number of amazing local charities.
“I started GeeWizz to provide a 100% transparent charity platform so our generous and kind-hearted fundraisers and donors have complete trust about where their money has gone and how it has helped.”
GeeWizz was set up to support young people in Suffolk and Norfolk living with a disability or affected by cancer while also supporting research into cancer, especially Sarcoma.
To date, the kind-hearted community has helped GeeWizz raise almost £150,000 in support of local families – meaning the charity can support even more families than originally hoped.