A watchdog’s intervention into the Captain Tom Foundation had a “massive adverse impact” on fundraising, the charity’s latest accounts state, while also showing the late veteran’s daughter received more than £70,000 in salary and expenses payments.
The Charity Commission launched an inquiry into the foundation in June last year, after identifying concerns about the charity’s management and independence from Sir Tom’s family.
It had already opened a case into the charity shortly after the 100-year-old died in 2021, and began reviewing the set-up of the organisation.
Sir Tom became a well-known figure when he raised £38 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday at the height of the first national Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020.
The foundation’s latest accounts, which were published on Wednesday, show that for the nine months from August 2021 to April 2022, Sir Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, received a gross salary of £63,750 in her role as interim chief executive officer (CEO).
The Charity Commission had consented to an annual salary of £85,000.
She also received £7,602 in expense payments for travel and administration between June 2021 and November 2022.
Payments of just over £24,000 were also made for office rental and telephone costs to Maytrix Group Limited, a company controlled by Ms Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin.
The foundation spent nearly £180,000 on staffing costs during the period, including wages, social security costs and pensions. It employed on average two people through the period.
The charity stated that its work is “entirely reliant on donations” and that while its total income had been just over £1 million for the 2021 financial year, that fell to £402,854 from June 2021 to November 2022.
The accounts stated that the Charity Commission’s intervention and subsequent launch of its statutory inquiry had “a massive adverse impact on the charity, our ability to raise new funds and to deliver operational activities”.
This summer, the foundation stopped taking money from donors after planning chiefs at Central Bedfordshire Council ordered that an unauthorised spa pool block at Ms Ingram-Moore’s home should be demolished.
The family have objected to the enforcement notice and an appeal against the order is set for a hearing next month.
In a statement posted to Ms Ingram-Moore’s verified Instagram account on Thursday, she said no charity money had been used in the construction of the new building in the grounds of her family’s home.
She added that she had not been involved in the foundation “in any capacity” since April 2022, and had not made any payments from the charity’s bank account during her time as interim chief executive.
She said her husband remains a family trustee of the foundation and has never had access to the charity’s bank account.
She said all of the £38.9 million raised in April 2020 from her father’s walk had been given directly to NHS charities and the family “have never been involved in any discussion or decision on this disbursement”.
A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “The commission does not take any decision to open an inquiry lightly but as regulator, it is our role to investigate concerns, ensuring charity can thrive and inspire public trust, and the public can continue to give to charities with confidence.
“Our ongoing statutory inquiry into the Captain Tom Foundation is investigating concerns about the charity’s financial management and governance, to establish whether there has been unauthorised benefit to current or previous trustees, whether conflicts of interest have been identified and managed, and whether the trustees more generally have complied with their legal duties and responsibilities.
“We will publish the findings of the inquiry once it has concluded.”