Children's charity amends clothing collection contract after Charity Commission intervention

The Charity Commission gave the Little Treasures Children's Trust guidance after receiving complaints about clothing collections carried out on behalf of the charity by East London Textiles

Charity collection bags
Charity collection bags

A small children’s charity amended its contract with a commercial clothing collection company and changed the wording on collection bags after Charity Commission intervention, Third Sector has learned.

In January this year, the commission opened a regulatory compliance case into the Little Treasures Children’s Trust, which supports families who have children with disabilities or life-limiting conditions.

The regulator said it had received a "significant number of complaints" about the charity, which had an income of £153,000 in the year to the end of January 2010, according to accounts filed with the commission.

The commission said the complaints related to clothing collections being carried out on behalf of the charity by the collections company East London Textiles.

"Although we do not have jurisdiction over clothing companies, we will become involved where a charity’s relationship with a clothing company is damaging to its reputation or to that of the sector as a whole," said a statement from the commission.

The commission closed the case in May after giving the charity guidance on its arrangement with ELT and recommending that the charity receive independent legal advice. It said trustees had since done so.

Emmalene Ratcliff, manager at Little Treasures Children’s Trust, said the charity had renegotiated its contract with ELT to receive more money from it and to make it clear on the collection bags that the company would give the charity at least £100,000 a year from the collections.

She said wording on the collection bags had also been changed to make it clearer to the public that a commercial collector was carrying out the service for a charity.

"People thought it was us doing the collections, not the company," she said. "And the collection vans only had our logo on them. That’s also changed."

Darren Collins, director of ELT, said that all the issues had been resolved and it had complied with the commission’s requests.

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