WaterAid exonerated by Fundraising Standards Board over Corbett Challenge

Despite complaint by the access rights campaigner Andy Strangeway, FRSB says the charity behaved in an exemplary manner

WaterAid's Corbett Challenge [WaterAid]
WaterAid's Corbett Challenge [WaterAid]

The Fundraising Standards Board has dismissed complaints that an outdoor fundraising activity organised by the charity WaterAid breached Institute of Fundraising guidance on outdoor events.

The FRSB said last month that trustees would consider 11 complaints from a member of the public about WaterAid’s 2011 Corbett Challenge, which involved walkers reaching the summit of all 312 peaks between 2,500 and 3,000 feet in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland at a specific time on 11 June.

In an email to the FRSB before this year’s event, Andy Strangeway, who campaigns for outdoor access rights, alleged that the charity was guilty of several breaches of the Institute of Fundraising's Outdoor UK Challenge Events including the Three Peaks Code of Fundraising Practice. The complaints related mainly to an alleged failure to consult land managers and possible threats to wildlife.

The FRSB’s adjudication, published today, says WaterAid presented evidence that it had written to, or was in the process of writing to, all land managers or local access officers of the 312 peaks.  

A statement from the FRSB said the FRSB board, which dealt with the complaint, noted that WaterAid’s event planning had been "exemplary, exceeding what is expected of charities to be compliant with the code".

Colin Lloyd, chair of the FRSB, said: "Having reviewed the Corbett Challenge in great detail, we would like to commend WaterAid for thorough and comprehensive event planning.

"The charity demonstrated sensitivity in communicating with each and every corbett landowner and making provisions to minimise the environmental impact of the event. What is more, the team that handled the complaint was open and respectful with both the complainant and the FRSB."

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