GERMAN media giant Bauer has strenuously denied claims it made “huge profits” from its own Christmas charity campaign after a series of allegations were posted on social media by a Capital community group.
Helping Hands Edinburgh claims Bauer’s “Mission Christmas” campaign, run by charity arm Cash for Kids, failed to purchase any gifts for needy children in the run up to Christmas 2017 – despite receiving more than £1.2 million in donations.
A video posted on the Helping Hands Twitter page also claimed Bauer – which owns radio stations including Forth One – charged Cash for Kids “thousands” for airtime on each of their 22 regional broadcasts, making up to £375,000 per area.
It added Bauer continued asking for donations of toys and money even after distribution centres had closed over the Christmas period.
However, the company has branded the allegations “unsubstantiated and untrue”.
The video stated Cash for Kids required disadvantaged families to be “approved” by the charity, but Bauer said the vetting process was set up to “ensure that their situation is validated by a third party”.
The company added they are subjected to “three independent audits annually and are “members of the fundraising regulator, governed by independent trustee boards”.
A statement posted on Bauer’s Cash for Kids websites’ read: “In 2017 Cash for Kids raised £23.1m and helped 716,870 children, distributing £19,453,000 in grants.”
However Bradley Welsh, a member of the Helping Hands steering group, slammed Bauer as a “weapon of mass deception,” adding that the charity’s repeated requests for meetings with bosses of the firm to hear their concerns were turned down.
Mr Welsh said: “Disadvantaged families in Edinburgh are being treated like second class citizens.
“Bauer are only interested in cash donations. They have two staff members and absolutely no logistical or distribution infrastructure, yet they continue to pump out adverts looking for donations, even after their centres have closed.”
Cash for Kids stated that all donations were collected from pre-agreed drop off points before December 21, adding that any toys donated after that date were “held and collected by Cash For Kids in January”.
It said in 2017 that “434 applications were processed with every application fulfilled for Mission Christmas”, while “£87,479.04 was spent on gifts” for children across the region at Gyle Shopping Centre.
A spokeswoman 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 £23.1m and helped 716,870 children.”
She added: “Bauer Media makes no profit whatsoever from the charity.”