Inquiry begins into Captain Tom Foundation charity formed in honour of NHS fundraising hero

The Charity Commission has looked into conflicts of interest and whether Sir Tom’s family complied with charity law.

Thursday, 30th June 2022, 10:38 am
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2022, 12:12 pm

An inquiry has been launched into the management of a charity set up in honour of fundraiser and veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore.

The Charity Commission, which opened a case into the charity in March 2021, has found concerns about the Captain Tom Foundation’s links between the Ingram-Moore family and their businesses.

The regulator is said to be concerned that a private company, Club Nook Limited, owned by Capt Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore was allowed to trade mark variations ‘Captain Tom’ without objection from the charity.

Captain Tom Moore and his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore.

The office inquiry document said: “This may have generated significant profit for the company.”

The fundraising hero died last year, at the age of 100 was an inspiration throughout the pandemic when raised £38,000,000 for the NHS.

The money raised by Sir Tom was not part of the inquiry.

CEO of the Charity Commission, Helen Stephenson said: “The late Captain Sir Tom Moore inspired the nation with his courage, tenacity and concern for others. It is vital that public trust in charity is protected, and that people continue to feel confident in supporting good causes.”

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Helen also said that it was in the public interest to formally investigate these issues.

She added: “We do not take any decision to open an inquiry lightly, but in this case, our concerns have mounted.”

The inquiry will examine whether the trustees have been responsible for mismanagement or misconduct and had fulfilled their duties under charity law.

Hannah and her husband were trustees for the Foundation. Colin remains a trustee but Hannah resigned in March 2021.

Last year, the charity asked the Charity Commission’s permission to employ Hannah for three days a week for £60,000 a year.

The regulator asked for evidence which the charity provided along with a revised salary of £100,000 a year for a full-time role.

The Commission refused permission for this employment as it considered the proposed salary as ‘neither reasonable nor justifiable'.

Hannah was appointed interim CEO in August 2021 on a salary of £85,000 per year.

Jack Gilbert, who began work as CEO on 1 June 2022, has pledged his support for the Inquiry.

Mr Gilbert said: “My appointment marks the start of an important period of transformation for the Captain Tom Foundation."

He added: “With a revitalised and more focussed mission, in coming months we will be announcing an array of charitable activities at both grassroots and national levels that change the way we think, feel and act towards age and ageing, combat ageism, and build meaningful connections between communities and generations.

“Working with the Board, I am using the NCVO-backed Trusted Charities standards to ensure that in all respects, including governance and finance, the Foundation conforms to best practice. These will be externally validated as part of the process.”

Stephen Jones, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Captain Tom Foundation said that the charity will work closely with the Commission in its Inquiry relating to intellectual property management.

Mr Jones said: “I note that the trustees confirmed with the Commission during the process of registration that the ‘image rights and intellectual property rights of the name were held within a private family trust’, and the Commission were aware that this was always intended to be the case.”

He added: “We welcome that the Charity Commission today reports that it is ‘satisfied’ in relation to questions that had been raised about the Foundation’s Annual Report which was published in February, and has concluded that payments were reasonable and that conflicts of interest were identified and managed.”