The charity founded by the family of a second world war veteran who gained worldwide fame for his fundraising during the first Covid lockdown faces scrutiny after management costs outstripped grants during its first year’s operations.
The Charity Commission, which oversees charities in England and Wales, said it had been in “ongoing contact” with the trustees of the Captain Tom Foundation, set up by members of the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Moore, who died last February aged 100, raised almost £33mn for charities associated with the UK’s NHS by walking 100 lengths of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday in April 2020.
However, there have been questions about the relationship between some of his family members and the activities set up in his memory.
According to accounts for the foundation from May 5 2020 to May 31 2021 published by the commission, the foundation made just four grants, of £40,000 each, during the period. The body incurred “support costs” of £209,433 for the period, including £162,336 in management costs.
The charity paid £16,097 in the period to Club Nook, a company controlled by Hannah Ingram-Moore, Moore’s daughter, whose husband, David Ingram-Moore, is a trustee of the foundation. The accounts said those had been for “accommodation, security and transport” to transport Moore around the country to promote the charity before his death.
The organisation paid another £37,942 to Maytrix Group, a company jointly controlled by the Ingram-Moores. Those costs included £27,205 in “third-party consultancy costs”. The foundation reimbursed £1,686 of Hannah Ingram-Moore’s expenses.
The commission said it had been in “ongoing contact” with the Captain Tom Foundation’s trustees on its set-up and governance arrangements.
“As part of this work [we] will now assess the charity’s recently submitted accounts,” it said.
The commission indicated it had an open “regulatory compliance case” into the foundation, although it stressed that the opening of such a case did not mean it had found any wrongdoing.
The Captain Tom Foundation did not immediately respond to an emailed request to comment on the Charity Commission’s statement.
However, the BBC quoted Stephen Jones, chair of the foundation’s trustees, as saying that “as a young charity” the foundation had been “working closely” with the commission since its launch.
“We welcome their input following the publication of our recent audited annual accounts,” he said.
Moore’s fundraising efforts began when he set out to raise £1,000 by undertaking a sponsored walk in his garden with his walking frame.
The effort quickly garnered nationwide and international attention. He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth during a special ceremony at Windsor Castle later that year. He died of Covid-19.