Fraud inquiry opens into Sick Kids Friends Foundation fundraising appeal

Appeal that raised £80,000 but spent £500,000 is now under investigation by the police in Scotland

Sick Kids Friends Foundation
Sick Kids Friends Foundation

Police in Scotland have begun a fraud investigation into the activities of a woman who ran a fundraising campaign that was intended to bring in £15m for a children's hospital but spent six times more than it raised.

Elaine McGonigle was sacked last year as director of the New Pyjamas appeal, run by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation. The campaign was intended to pay for equipment for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, but raised £80,000 and spent about £500,000.

McGonigle had taken her dismissal to an employment tribunal, which was due to begin this week, but this has been delayed by the launch of the fraud investigation.

Irregularities are believed to have come to light during SKFF's preparations for the tribunal.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "We can confirm that we have received a complaint regarding alleged fraudulent activity related to fundraising activity for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and an investigation is under way."

An SKFF spokesman said: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment at this point."

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