Charity protests about shop raising money in its name

Devon Air Ambulance Trust has complained to trading standards officers about a shop that has opened in a village in the county, claiming it will donate all its profits to the charity.

The shop bears the name Holsworthy Air Ambulance Trust but it is not a listed charity, and Helena Holt, chief executive of Devon Air Ambulance, said she had had no contact with the shop’s owners.

“They say they will be raising money for us, but the first thing we knew about it was when a member of the public phoned us about it,” she said.

She said Devon Air Ambulance Trust already had nine clearly branded shops and was uncomfortable about being associated with the Holsworthy Air Ambulance Trust shop.

“The last thing we want is someone setting up something purporting to be a charity shop that is completely out of our control and is potentially misrepresenting us to the public,” she said. “It could be entirely well-meaning, but they have gone about it in the wrong way.”

Holt decided not to telephone the shop’s owner, but instead contacted the trading standards department of her local authority, following advice from the Charity Commission.

“If we were to accept any donations I would want some clear assurances it was properly audited. There are too many question marks.”

Third Sector was unable to contact the Holsworthy Air Ambulance Trust shop.

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