|UNDERCOVER EXPOSE | one southern company is named
Inside Out investigates and exposes a company
that claims to collect for charity.
The company targets bars and pubs of the
south and are scamming the public out of thousands of pounds.
It is not unusual to find organisations appealing for
donations in public places - even pubs and bars. Alcohol may make you
more generous, but it may also cloud judgement.
Inside Out investigates one organisation who are believed
to be conning the public out of thousands of pounds.
The organisation under investigation is Nightingale, based
in the south of England. The company claims to be collecting for charity,
but Inside Out can reveal that only a small percentage of donations actually
goes to good causes.
Palmer went undercover to work at Nightingale|
Inside Out sent undercover reporter, Jo Palmer, to work
for Nightingale to discover exactly how the company operates.
Jo was sent with an experienced collector to work in the
pubs around Oxford.
"In some pubs we asked for straightforward charity donations
and in other pubs we were selling glow sticks," she said. "But in both
cases, people were told that the majority of the money would be going
Jo and her fellow collector, returned from a night’s work
with more than £400.
"That money was divided between myself, the other collector,
the driver and the company," says Jo.
Nightingale had around ten cars out that evening and each
of them came back with a similar amount of money.
|It is estimated
that the company earns £15,000 each week|
The collectors go out five nights a week and so the company
is believed to be bringing in about £15,000 per week in cash.
Steve Grenfell, head of investigations at the Charity
Commission, says he has been aware of Nightingale’s activities for some
time and would like to see the company closed down.
"There is no doubt that all that money should go to charity,"
he said. "Unless the collector says 'I am going to keep x amount' then
all of that money should go to charity."
Nightingale, which has been operating for around three
years, sends its collectors out with a large laminated card.
The card lists in bold print eight charities that the
company claims to support. It also says that "Nightingale continually
aim to donate to a wide variety of national charities."
The small print at the very bottom however, states that
"Nightingale is not a charity and does not represent any charity organisation".
it is a straightforward sales company|
Most of the charities listed have only ever received around
£100 from Nightingale, although one charity, the Anthony Nolan Trust,
has received several hundred.
Company owner Adrian Williams says that Nightingale is
a straightforward sales company which is out to make a profit.
Mr Williams does however donate about £25 per week to
"I do sell flowers in pubs," he said. "I also sell glow
products. We don’t collect for any charity organisation. The collection
pots are there for safety reasons, to stop anybody from stealing."
The lesson is clear. To ensure your money is being spent
where it is intended, only give to reputable charitable organisations.
The beer and generosity may be flowing, but unless you want to be lining
the pockets of a profit making company - always read the small print!