Cash for Kids responds to untrue and unsubstantiated allegations about Mission Christmas

Mission Christmas 2018

A spokesperson for Cash for Kids said, “Allegations made against Bauer Media run charity Cash for Kids are false and unsubstantiated. We are fully independently audited and run in compliance with all charity regulations and guidelines. In 2017 we raised £23.1 million and helped 716,870 children. Bauer Media makes no profit whatsoever from the charity.”

Bauer Media and Cash for Kids had numerous conversations with Bradley Welsh on the phone and over email, and made repeated requests that a formal complaint be made to Cash for Kids with any accompanying evidence to back up Mr Welsh’s unsubstantiated claims. We also directed him to OSCR (the Scottish Charity Regulator), and he did not take action with either. This is in-line with charity regulator guidelines. The accusation that Bauer Media refused to meet Mr Welsh is wholly untrue, as Mr Welsh has never made a formal complaint which would allow for a meeting to take place or provided any evidence to back up any of his claims.

We have recently taken legal action against those making allegations against Cash for Kids. We are fully independently audited and run in compliance with all charity regulations and guidelines. We have initiated this action in an attempt to limit the impact of these allegations on our ability to help disadvantaged children across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife this Christmas.

Untrue claims in ‘#MissionChristmasFAILED’ video

A video was published by Holyrood Boxing Gym on 13th November 2018 with a series of untrue and unsubstantiated claims within it. Below you will find questions and answers addressing the claims made in the video.

Did Cody McManus raise £12,000 worth of toys in 2016 that was refused by Cash for Kids Mission Christmas?

In 2016, Cody’s mother approached Cash for Kids to inform them that they were collecting gifts for Cash for Kids at Holyrood Boxing Club’s boxing matches. Cash for Kids agreed to be the beneficiary and provided Cody’s mother and Holyrood Boxing Club the charity logo to use, and it was agreed that Cash for Kids would distribute the gifts following the charities approval process.

Subsequently, Cody’s mother contacted Cash for Kids to request they deliver the gifts to the families and groups receiving them and requested the personal addresses of the recipients. Cash for Kids declined this request and reiterated their process for fulfilling applications for toys.

Organisations must go through an approval process to ensure they meet our criteria of supporting disadvantaged children and we do not take applications from individual families to ensure that their situation is validated by a third party such as a social worker.

Cody and his mother then withdrew their support and donated their gifts to Children First. Upon the Charity Manager’s request, they stopped using the Cash for Kids logo

Did Cash for Kids suggest a partnership with Cody McManus?

Cody’s mother approached Cash for Kids in 2016 as they were collecting gifts and Cash for Kids agreed to be the beneficiary. This agreement came to an end when Cash for Kids communicated to Cody’s mother that the gifts would be delivered by Cash for Kids.

Are Cash for Kids only interested in cash donations and do not wish to take responsibility for processing gifts and toys?

Cash for Kids accept both cash donations and gift donations. The cash donations are used to buy a gift on a donor’s behalf for any age categories we are falling short of gifts for. We have no control over the age suitability of the gifts we are donated and can therefore be short of toys for particular age groups such as babies and teenagers, for example. We have stringent processes and take full responsibility for processing gifts so they reach disadvantaged children in local areas.

In 2017, did Forth 1 Cash for Kids Mission Christmas receive £1.2 million in cash and gifts but fail to buy any gifts?

During our Forth Mission Christmas campaign we collect gift and cash donations. The total value of gifts donated was £959,970.06, the total value of cash donations was £170,299.05 of which we spend £80,479.94 on gift purchases to address the shortfall we had in selected age categories and ensure we fulfilled every application helping 20,807 children. Any remaining cash donations are then used in Cash for Kids general grant rounds throughout the year. We had a grant round on the 22nd February 2018 in Edinburgh. The total cash distributed was £112,580 helping 3,177 local children.

Why do we ask for cash donations?

We ask for gift and cash donations. The cash donations allow us to purchase gifts for the age categories we are short on (usually babies and teenagers). The cash donation option also helps our supporters who would prefer not to or are unable to shop for themselves.

Do Cash for Kids operate without a delivery infrastructure, requiring organisations to collect gifts for recipients, with only pre-approved applicants eligible for gifts?

In order to ensure we reach our minimum 80% contribution target which ensures cash and gifts donated go to help under-privileged children we do not have a delivery infrastructure. This ensures there was no cost of delivering gifts to the 434 organisations we supported last year and instead allows us to focus is on helping disadvantaged children in our communities. We ask organisations that apply for gifts to collect from Mission HQ and distribute to the families they support. Organisations must go through an approval process to ensure they meet our criteria of supporting disadvantaged children and we do not take applications from individual families to ensure that their situation is validated by a third party.

Did Cash for Kids continue to ask for donations up to 24th December 2017 after Mission HQ closed on 22nd December 2017?

No. In 2017, the original date communicated for gifts to be dropped off for Cash for Kids was 17th December. In addition, Cash for Kids do collect gifts from a selection of pre-agreed drop off points and in 2017 collected from all of these drop off points before 21st December.

After the 21st December it is not possible for Cash for Kids to sort or distribute donated gifts as most of the organisations who submit applications for support are not working after this date. Cash for Kids therefore ask that any donations collected after this date are held and collected by Cash for Kids in January. These gifts are then used to support families in crisis in the New Year or held in a secure location ready to be distributed for the following years Mission Christmas appeal.

After all the toys were collected on the 17th, the Cash for Kids team identified there was a shortfall of 4,000 applications outstanding. Therefore, Cash for Kids appealed for extra donations on air for this year on 18th December 2017. This generated additional gift donations and enabled Cash for Kids to spend the £30,000 raised on the 19th December on gifts that were distributed on 20th December. They subsequently announced on 21st December breakfast show that requests had been fulfilled and thank you audio trails started after the show from 10am. By 3pm on the 21st December all applications had been collected and all applications fulfilled.

Do Bauer Media, on average, make a profit of £375,000 from each of the 22 Cash for Kids sites across the UK, equating to £8 million nationwide?

No. Bauer Media makes no profit from Cash for Kids.

The recharge in the Cash for Kids account quoted in the video is for Scotland East (Radio Forth, Radio Tay, Northsound Radio, Radio Borders and MFR). The costs are for the administration and employment of staff for the charity. This allows Cash for Kids teams to access Bauer Benefits and saves on payroll and administration charges for the charity

Are Bauer Media more concerned with delivering profits rather than presents on behalf of Cash for Kids?

In 2017 Cash for Kids raised £23.1 million and helped 716,870 children distributing £19,453,000 in grants.

Cash for Kids have 3 independent audits annually. Cash for Kids are members of the Fundraising Regulator and are also governed by independent Trustee boards. No donations from anywhere go to Bauer Media Group in any way.

You can view our full audited accounts by clicking here.

This page was updated at 5:20pm on 14th November 2018 to add clarity to; the value of cash and gift donations for Mission Christmas, why we ask for cash donations and to include our independently audited annual accounts. A further update was made at 6pm on 23rd November 2018 with additional statement wording, and again at 9:45am on 5th December 2018.