Alert on charity house collection

A NATIONAL charity today distanced itself from a collection of clothes due to be held in Doncaster after concerns were raised with the authorities.

Trading standards bosses have been alerted by former Rossington Parish Council chairman Eddy Jones over concerns about leaflets distributed in the village.

The leaflets promoting the collection were distributed to homes by a company called Memel Ltd, which says it is collecting on behalf of established Cambridge-based registered charity SOS Children.

Mr Jones said: "I was shocked when I saw the leaflet. I've investigated Memel and as far as I can see they have no links to any charity in the UK."

SOS Children has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize and is the world's largest orphan's charity, and the leaflets handed out in Doncaster use SOS's logo.

But SOS Children today said it has no knowledge of Memel and has no plans for a collection in Doncaster, or anywhere else, this weekend.

When The Star contacted the number quoted on Memel's flyer a woman, who said she was a secretary, insisted the company was registered as a charity in both Lithuania and the UK - but the British Charity Commission has no record of the company.

Memel's director Mrs Landra-Bockusviena, who declined to give her first name, said: "We donate directly to the Lithuanian SOS Children charity. So far this year we have sent around 300 a month to them."

Charity Commission spokesman Chris Kiggell said: "People should be on their guard against clothing collectors who give the impression of charity, when in fact they are profit-making companies.

"If you want to make sure your clothes go to genuine charities, check the leaflet for a registered charity number and look on the Charity Commission's online register of charities www.charitycommission.gov.uk or give the Commission a call on 0845 3000 218.

"If you're in any doubt, take second-hand goods directly to your local charity shop."

Marilyn Moyse, SOS Children's UK spokeswoman, said: "We've never done door to door collections and have no knowledge of Memel Ltd. We'd like to think that they are donating to charity but have certainly never had any dealings with them."

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