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Student's campaign for homeless man raises £25k

A campaign to raise money for a homeless man who offered a student his last £3 so that she could get home safely after a night out has managed to raise more than £25k.

The fundraising page to 'Help Robbie' Credit: GoGetFunding

The Help Robbie fund was set up by former University of Central Lancashire student Dominique Harrison-Bentzen who, although refusing to take the man's money when he offered it to her on December 4, was so touched by the gesture she set out to track him down and help him get off the streets.

Harrison-Bentzen found Robbie with the help of Facebook and her subsequent fundraising campaign to raise money for the Preston-based homeless man to be rehoused, and helped back into work after seven months on the streets, has so far seen 4,028 people donate a total of £25,195.25.

Posting on the fundraising page Harrison-Bentzen thanked everyone for their support and said: "Together our small act of kindness can change someone's life this Christmas and finally get him off the streets safe and warm."

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Charity watchdog chief warns over 'aiding extremism'

The Charity Commission has warned that Islamist extremism is the "most deadly" problem it faces, urging the government to introduce laws to prevent convicted terrorists from setting up charitable organisations.

The watchdog's chairman William Shawcross told The Sunday Times (£): “The problem of Islamist extremism and charities . . . is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities, but is potentially the most deadly. And it is, alas, growing.”

Charities working abroad need to be 'particularly vigilant' over Islamist extremism Credit: Reuters

He said the commission was taking tough measures against any charity that was “sending cash to extremist groups in Syria” or “dispatching young Britons for training in Syria by al-Qaeda or other extremist groups”.

The regulator is investigating three charities raising funds for Syria and monitoring seven others.

Kate visits anti-bullying charity forum

The Duchess of Cambridge, has attended an education forum held by an anti-bullying charity in London's Canary Wharf.

Nine-year-old Tierney Potter presented Kate with a posy. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Duchess is patron of school-based mental health charity Place2Be, which held the event.The charity supports 75,000 children in more than 200 schools in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.

The Duchess arrives to London's Canary Wharf. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

It helps children to cope with issues such as bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.

William and Kate join poppy sellers outside tube station

Kate was wearing a navy blue pleated skirt by Orla Kiely and a matching jacket by MaxMara as she arrived at the offices of Clifford Chance for the event.

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One of UK's largest charity funds remains untouched

An anonymous donation made to a fund in 1928 to inspire the government to pay off the UK's debt is now worth £350 million - but cannot be touched.

The National Fund, set up 85 years ago and now managed by Barclays, has grown to become one of the largest charities in the UK by net assets, but due to a specification made by the donor.

One of UKs largest charity funds remains untouched. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The donor specified that the fund should be held in trust until the country raises enough money to pay off the whole debt, which currently stands at £1.2 trillion.

Barclays is believed to have been trying for four years to get permission to use the money to make charitable grants or to turn it over to the Treasury, but any change would have to be approved by a court.

Row over salaries paid to top charity executives

A charity regulator has warned that large salaries of £100,000 or more paid to top executives could bring the sector into "disrepute".

The Charity Commission's chairman, William Shawcross, has claimed wages should be fair and appropriate to both donors and taxpayers who fund charities.

Here are examples of what other public figures earn per year:

  • The Prime Minister, David Cameron, receives a combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of £142,500.
  • The annual salary of an MP is £66,396, as of April 1, 2013.

Executive salaries are not 'excessive' in charity sector

A warning by the chairman of the Charity Commission over top charity executives' salaries is "deeply unhelpful", according to Sir Stephen Bubb.

The chief executive of charity leaders organisation Acevo has criticised William Shawcross's view that high executive salaries could bring the charitable sector into "disrepute".

Mr Bubb said charity trustees and donors are focused on the performance of an organisation and not issues over pay.

This simply isn't an issue for donors. Donors are more concerned about the outcomes, the performance and the efficiency of these organisations.

To keep talent, really strong people, at the top of these organisations they need to be paid properly. These are still not excessive salaries when you compare them to the public and private sectors.

Executive salaries 'broadly in line' with other charities

Executive salaries at 14 of Britain's leading foreign aid charities are "broadly in line" with other charities, according to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), the umbrella organisation which coordinates responses to major disasters overseas.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the number of executives at charities connected to the DEC receiving salaries of £100,000 or more has increased from 19 to 30 over the past three years.

The Disasters Emergency Committee plays no part in setting executive salaries at our member agencies but we believe these salaries are broadly in line with pay at other charities of comparable size.

To ensure the most effective use of appeal funds, a balance must be struck between minimising overheads and ensuring a robust management system is in place.Good management of emergency responses in the UK allows our member agencies to deliver the planning, monitoring, accountability and transparency that this work requires and that the public rightly demands.

– DEC spokesman
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