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Quite a Big Issue

I bought a copy of the Big Issue at the weekend and was chatting to the vendor who was standing in the doorway of a supermarket.

He mentioned the previous day he was down to his last copy when a smartly-dressed, pleasant lady approached him. She asked him if he had change for a £20 note and apologising for having nothing smaller. Fortunately, he thought, it was the end of the day so he passed over his last copy and £18 change. He was ready to put up his feet and went to spend his earnings at the supermarket. That was only to find he had been passed a “dud” £20 note. Money laundering is a sly and devious form of theft, particularly when the amount is very significant to the victim, who is vulnerable. The contrast seemed stark – he trying to earn an honest living on meagre means and she conning her way in life in designer gear.

Just when my belief in “the milk of human kindness” was being tested to the limit, I had a very different experience. Wilson Field’s chosen charity is Neurocare, which raises money for specialist equipment to treat a variety of neurological conditions.

The latest staff effort to raise money for this cause is a charity cricket match / networking event. I have been taken aback by the positive and generous response by people who have pledged their support. Either by simply turning up, bringing friends, making a donation or offering a raffle prize.

Many charities set up wholly owned subsidiary companies to carry out trading on their behalf. A wholly owned trading subsidiary is a company owned and controlled by one or more charities. It is usually set up to generate income for the charity or charities. A subsidiary company can take advantage of the tax relief available for charitable donations, without having the restrictions on their trading activities charities have. Nevertheless, they are still trading businesses and can run into problems like any other businesses. Also, they are not immune to the adverse economic climate.

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