Anti-poverty charity Painted Children removed from Charity Commission register

The charity, which has objects of preserving health and advancing education for children and young mothers in Bangladesh, the Maldives, Nepal and the UK, was removed because it 'ceased to be charitable'

Painted Children
Painted Children

The charity Painted Children has been removed from the Charity Commission’s register because the regulator concluded it was operating as a commercial fundraising business and carrying out little or no charitable activity.

Painted Children, which in 2010 was the first charity adjudged by the Fundraising Standards Board to have broken the Code of Fundraising Practice, was removed from the register of charities on 29 August because it "ceased to be charitable", according to the commission's website.

But Painted Children still refers to itself as a charity on its website, which displays its charity number and has a "Donate now" button.

A commission spokeswoman said the removal came after an operational monitoring case that examined concerns about a lack of charitable activity or charitable expenditure and poor financial controls.

The commission met trustees and carried out a "books and records inspection" as part of the case, the spokeswoman said.

"The case concluded that there was little or no evidence of charitable activity and that the organisation was operating as a commercial fundraising business, rather than a charity," she said.

"We found that the majority of funds raised in cash collections in London over the past two years have been applied to cover the costs of staff and accommodation and not in furthering charitable activity. Removing the organisation from the register ensures that it can no longer operate purporting to raise charitable funds and maintains the integrity of the register."

If the organisation continued fundraising purporting to be a registered charity, it would be committing a criminal offence, she said.

Painted Children, which registered with the commission in April 2009, had objects of relieving sickness and poverty, preserving health and advancing education for children and young mothers in Bangladesh, the Maldives, Nepal and the UK.

In 2010, the FRSB upheld complaints made by six people about the charity’s fundraising methods, saying it had been illegally collecting in London without a licence and paying its collectors, which is also illegal.

It was the first time a complaint to the organisation had been upheld. As a result, Painted Children and the FRSB started a 12-month improvement and monitoring process, although this was stopped after the regulator received several more complaints about the charity.

Painted Children remains registered as a company with Companies House.

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