Fundraising firm responds to ‘rip-off’ claims after row with Mansfield war hero

Town centre fundraisers wew confronted by a war veteran for 'ripping off' the public, but claim they are genuine and have defended an 80 per cent cost margin.
Town centre fundraisers wew confronted by a war veteran for 'ripping off' the public, but claim they are genuine and have defended an 80 per cent cost margin.

The boss of a fundraising firm has responded to claims that it is ‘ripping-off’ the public after being confronted in Mansfield town centre by a war veteran.

Two Orrsome Support collectors for the company were said to be ‘hassling’ members of the public in Westgate according to Forest Town Iraq war veteran John Walker, and the company has defended it’s hefty margins, which leave only 20 per cent of all sales to going to charity.

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Colin Pye, a director of Orrsome Support, which raises exclusively for Excalibur Unit, said he disagreed that the public may find it hard to stomach that 80 per cent of wrist bands sales go straight into the company’s bank account.

He said: “Ninety per cent of customers understand there are overheads. Our charity (Excalibur Unit) has been going for eight years and we’ve raised a lot of cash for them, at no cost to them.

“Everybody moans about this 80 per cent. Do you think that 80 per cent goes in my pocket? The cost of each wristband is 22 per cent, we pay 30 pound a day in travel once they are in the town, and 100 a week in travel to a town. They get a wage and I’m not going to hide the fact,” he added, claiming that the company is small, with only two fundraisers .

“Walter Mitty Hunters Club are chasing people away from our charity, they’re taking money away from a lot of little charities.”

Fundraisers were photographed in Westgate on December 23 wearing jackets and IDs emblazoned with ‘Excalibur Unit, and did not name the company their worked for.

Mr Pye responded to the photos: “They do have names on their IDs. They do.

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“If anybody asks us they say they work for a company called Orrsome Support that works on behalf of Excalibur Unit. If customers ask us how much of the money goes to the charity the agents will say 20 per cent.

John Walker, ho left the army as a Corporal after two tours in Iraq, said: “Everyone should be on their guard because if they knew 80 per cent was kept they wouldn’t donate.”

“It’s down to the public to keep vigilant, there’s been a drastic increase in bogus collectors, so you are well within your rights to question these people.”

Police received a call but said they ‘could not locate the people involved’.

Orrsome Support Ltd claims Excalibur has grown its income from £4,000 a year to more than £100,000 thanks to it’s pair of roaming fundraising agents.

The charity’s annual statement in 2014-15 stated its total income was around £70,000 – £15,000 of which was raised by Orrsome Support. According to its last annual accounts with Company’s House, the firm had no income at April 2016 and £4,904 in assets.