Meningitis Now has discovered that its logo is being used on unauthorised clothes recycling bags.
The bags are designed for people to donate their unwanted clothes, shoes, and other items, which are then collected at the roadside, often to raise money for charity.
Meningitis Now would like to make it clear that they do not raise funds through schemes such as these; there is no agreement in place with any company to collect unwanted goods on their behalf.
They said they are not the only charity who has been affected by this, as their logo sits alongside other charities on these fraudulent bags, including bibic, which supports children and young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
Stephen Service, Policy Manager at the Fundraising Regulator said: “While many clothing collections are legitimate, charity bag fraud is an increasingly common problem which makes victims of donors and charities alike. If in doubt, check with your local council directly before you give to ensure the collection is licensed.”
Dr Tom Nutt CEO at Meningitis Now said: “Sadly, this is an issue that affects the wider charity sector and not just Meningitis Now.”
“Charities rely on the generosity of public donations to help keep vital services running - at Meningitis Now this means ensuring that everyone affected by meningitis gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.
“I would like to make it clear that these bags are fraudulent and nothing to do with Meningitis Now – please do not make any donations in this way.
“We are working together with other charities and the charity regulator to minimise the impact that this type of behaviour has on the charity sector as a whole.”
Lynda Williams, CEO at bibic said: “We are extremely disappointed to learn of the continued fraudulent use of the bibic brand.
“To falsely claim to be changing the lives of children with disabilities and learning difficulties is disgraceful, and I urge anyone that receives a bag purporting to support bibic and Meningitis Now to follow the advice from the fundraising regulator.”
Charity donation bags like this are usually hand-delivered and collected by vans and the charity said it would like to make it clear that the public should avoid challenging anyone seen delivering or collecting these bags.
If you are ever in any doubt about the use of either charity’s logo on bags such as these, or wondering if someone is fundraising for us legitimately, call 01453 768000, or via their Facebook page www.facebook.com/meningitisnow.
“We hope and believe that this kind of fraud is rare, but would like to take this opportunity to remind our generous supporters that there are other, safer ways to make donations to our charity, in particular via our website www.meningitisnow.org”