A charity set up in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore has hit the headlines this week after it was revealed that the Charities’ Commission would be reviewing the trust’s accounts.
Following his death in February 2021, the Captain Tom Foundation was set up by his family to build on the goodwill he generated by raising £33m for NHS charities during the 2020 lockdown.
However, accounts published this week show that in its first year, the Foundation gave out grants of £160,000 to four charities yet paid £162,000 in management costs.
Captain Tom captured the imagination of the world when he raised an extraordinary amount of money by completing laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine ahead of his 100th birthday.
The Harpur Trust’s Bedford School, which was attended by his grandson Benjie, supported the family by offering their Great Hall as a temporary sorting office for the thousands of birthday cards the centurion received from all over the world.
In light of the Charities Commission’s investigation, a spokesperson for Bedford School confirmed that the school was not involved in the Foundation.
They told the Bedford Independent: “Bedford School is pleased to have supported Benjie, our pupil, and his family in receiving and displaying the thousands of birthday cards received by his late grandfather, Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“We support the aims of the Captain Tom Foundation and last year raised just over £500 for them, as one of our school charities in the autumn term of 2020, alongside St John’s Hospice, the Red Cross, Bedford Foodbank and Movember.”
A spokesperson for the Harpur Trust told the Bedford Independent: “The Harpur Trust’s community programme is 100% focused on work supporting people in Bedford Borough, and our community team has not worked with the Captain Tom Foundation to date.”
According to the accounts, reimbursement costs were paid to two companies based in Marston Moretaine and run by Capt Sir Tom Moore’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore.
The reimbursement is for the two businesses covering the cashflow of the charity when it was being set up – a period during which neither Hannah nor other family members received fees.
Stephen Jones, chair of trustees at The Captain Tom Foundation said they welcomed the Charity Commission’s input.
“Captain Sir Tom Moore was a beacon of hope around the world. Our mission as The Captain Tom Foundation is to continue his legacy of kindness and determination to create positive social change.
“As a young charity, we have been working closely with The Charity Commission since we launched, and we welcome their input following the publication of our recent audited annual accounts.”
In a statement, The Charity Commission said: “We have been in ongoing contact with the trustees of the Captain Tom Foundation on its set-up and governance arrangements and as part of this work will now assess the charity’s recently submitted accounts.”
“It said it had an open regulatory compliance case into the charity, but that did not mean it had made any finding of wrongdoing.”
The Foundation also addressed concerns raised by the Fundraising Regulator and Information Commissioner’s Office saying: “We have positively engaged with both regulatory bodies and all matters have been satisfactorily resolved.”