Charity attacks councillor for 'insensitive' appeal

Georgina Lock

A West Sussex charity has criticised the leader of its local council for being insensitive during a recent fundraising appeal.

Tony Squires, a councillor at Arun District Council, was featured in Third Sector last week being locked up in Ford Prison to raise money for his chosen charity of the year, Sight Savers International.

But Kate Schroder, chief executive of 4Sight, West Sussex Association for the Blind, said it was "extraordinary" that Squires was fundraising for an overseas charity when her local charity is struggling to raise funds.

She was particularly perplexed that Squires chose to use Ford Prison, where 4Sight works to support visually impaired inmates, for his fundraising gimmick.

Schroder added: "What a pity neither the council nor the prison could fundraise in support of its own need, or of this charity's work on its behalf."

4Sight supports more than 1,100 blind and partially sighted people living in the Arun district.

Squires said the last thing he wanted to do was offend 4Sight. He justified his choice of charity by saying there were 40 million people in the developing world without access to a national health service, whose lives could be transformed by an operation to save their sight.

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