Tag Archives: Charity

Medway’s MAGIC!


Mark Reckless, UKIP’s Parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood, yesterday visited Medway MAGIC. The “Medway Autism Group and Information Centre”, based in Cliffe Woods, is a charitable, non-profit organisation which relies on donations, sponsorship, and funding from the local council. After a brief introduction to the staff and volunteers Mark was given a guided tour of the centre by Gayna Simmonds, the CEO of MAGIC. Gayna, who has two autistic children herself, spoke passionately about the need for continued support from the government.

Having visited MAGIC at its previous base In Rochester in 2011, Mark was pleased to see the continued development and improvement of the services offered to children. Mark believes firmly in the importance of looking after the most vulnerable in society and securing support for good causes, while also championing exceptional local projects. The enthusiasm and dedication that was evident from speaking to the full-time staff and volunteers was especially encouraging for Mark, who has campaigned for a charter to improve mental health services for children with autism.

magic2MAGIC plays an important role as a haven for children who cannot cope in mainstream education, and offers respite care for parents and carers alike. The organisation is currently in the process of raising funds in an attempt to buy the building they currently occupy at auction, which would allow them to focus on the long term development of their facilities.

Mark Reckless said:

“I continue to be impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of Gayna and her team of volunteers at Medway MAGIC.

Having a child with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autistic Syndrome (ASD) can be challenging in terms of finding the right help and advice. Medway has, on average, double the normal level of autistic children, and has therefore a pressing need for a successful and well managed programme to assist in the development, support, and education of autistic children. Both the size of the centre, the breadth of the facilities available, and the general ethos were very impressive and encouraging for the future of the charity.

Medway MAGIC has done a great job in raising awareness of the issues surrounding children with Autism and I am proud to offer my continued support.”


UKIP Manifesto 2015

Speaking on Channel 4 News, Mark Reckless highlights the “extraordinarily impressive” national manifesto launched today.

Click Here to view UKIP’s manifesto for Britain


MP urges local residents to have a ‘Safe Xmas’ when donating to charity

M.R. 105Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, is urging residents to give safely to charities this Christmas by remembering the ‘Safe Xmas’ acronym developed by the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, and the Fundraising Standards Board, the self-regulatory body for UK fundraising.

Both regulators will also be issuing the advice on social media, which can be found by following #SafeXmas.

Christmas is a traditional time for giving and charities work hard to raise money during this time to fund their work throughout the year. The general public give generously to charity and in a survey of people’s giving habits last Christmas, 85% of people said they give directly to charity at Christmas, donating an average of around £40 to the good causes they care about.*

Almost all collections are genuine, but some people will try to abuse the generosity of others for their own gain. With some charities and supporters having experienced fraud, it is vital that the public know that their donations are going to the right place. The Charity Commission and FRSB have come together to issue a few simple tips for giving with confidence this Christmas.


Search for a charity’s name, registration number and landline on fundraising materials
Ask to see a collector’s ID badge and don’t be afraid to ask questions
Find the FRSB tick logo, showing that the charity’s fundraising is regulated
Ensure the collection device is sealed
Xtra information about charities can be found at www.gov.uk/charity-commission
Make sure clothing collection bags are clearly branded with a charity’s details
Always check email and web links are genuine before donating
Still unsure? Contact your favourite charity direct and donate

Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, calls on local residents to give safely this Christmas, saying:

“People here in Rochester and Strood are incredibly generous in giving both time and money to good causes at Christmas. Many charities will be relying on these donations to fund vital services that continue throughout the year and nobody can afford for those donations to go astray.

If you are asked to give money to charity and something doesn’t feel quite right or you just want to be completely sure, take a good look at the fundraising materials, follow the ‘Safe Xmas’ tips and, if in doubt, get in touch with the charity you want to support directly.”

Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said:

“It’s great to see that people are still extremely generous to charities at Christmas, and throughout the year. We’d like to remind the public that by taking a few small steps when donating, you can ensure that your money goes to the right place.

Whilst incidents of fundraising fraud are rare, they do sadly occur. Don’t be put off from giving – instead, help keep charities accountable by using the resources available to make checks when giving this season. Use the Online Register, ask questions and have a ‘Safe Xmas’ this year knowing you’ve made a difference.”

Alistair McLean, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, said:

“Although bogus fundraising remains rare in the UK, it is essential that we all do what we can to make it increasingly difficult for criminals to cheat charities and their supporters. For donors, this means being aware and, if in doubt, making a few simple checks before giving. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to contact the charity with your queries.

Above all, keep on giving. Your donations could make a critical difference to the good causes you care about this Christmas.”

For more information on fundraising regulation, go to the FRSB website, to the Charity Commission’s guidance on GOV.UK or to the Commission’s newly published fundraising statement which signposts readers to the correct regulator for any issues they wish to raise.

MP pledges support to local charity


From left: Peninsula ward councillor Chris Irvine, John Reeve, Chairman of charity, and Mark Reckless MP

Mark Reckless was delighted to meet up with John Reeve, Chairman of The Milly Moo Right Now Foundation, a local charity which was set up to provide support and assistance to those who are diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Set up in 2011 in memory of John’s daughter Amelia Libby Reeve who died of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, the charity’s aim is to provide support and financial assistance to those families needing help while also raising awareness of the condition and, over time, helping to fund research into the disease. John explained how the charity is also hoping to provide a holiday home in Allhallows to be used by patients and their families during or after periods of treatment. The Milly Moo Right Now Foundation is looking to raise £40,000 to buy the holiday home and Mark Reckless has pledged his support to the charity and their fantastic work.

Around 500 children every year are newly diagnosed with Leukaemia, The charity looks upon having somewhere for families to take some respite as being the opportunity to ‘make memories’ and allowing them to take time out from the gruelling treatment regime.

Speaking after the meeting, Mark Reckless said:

“I am hugely impressed by the work being done by John and all of the trustees of The Milly Moo Right Now Foundation. It was a pleasure to meet John to discuss how I may help the charity in its aims. It is a privilege to assist in any way possible to honour the memory of such a beautiful, little girl like Amelia.

I shall be contacting Haven to try and help facilitate the purchase of the holiday home in Allhallows and I would like to urge all of my constituents to get behind the charity and show them their support.”

For information on how to make a donation or to get involved in up and coming events, visit www.themillyfoundation.co.uk or click here to send an email.

MP joins campaigners to launch national ‘Enough Food For Everyone IF’ campaign in Rochester

Launch of IF campaign at Rochester Cathedral 1

On Wednesday 30 January, the Rt Rev Dr Brian Castle, the Bishop of Tonbridge, helped launch ‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’, a national multi-agency campaign calling for an end to global hunger. He was joined outside Rochester Cathedral by the Very Rev Dr Mark Beach, Dean of Rochester Cathedral, Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, Emma Kevan, Regional Coordinator for Christian Aid and by local supporters representing some of the 100 charities and agencies taking part.

‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’ is the largest coalition of its kind in the UK since Make Poverty History in 2005. The coalition warns that despite there being enough food in the world for everyone, nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night, and two million children die from malnutrition every year.

The campaign calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to use the UK’s G8 presidency in 2013 to take action on the root causes of the hunger crisis in the poorest countries.

The ‘IF’ movement challenges the Prime Minister to tackle 4 big IFs to ensure there is enough food for everyone:

  • IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and use the available   agricultural land to grow food for people, not biofuels for cars.
  • IF governments keep their promises on aid, invest to stop children dying from malnutrition and help the poorest people feed themselves through investment in small farmers.
  • IF governments close loopholes to stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so that millions of people can free themselves from hunger.
  • IF we force governments and investors to be honest and open about the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop people getting enough food.

Speaking at the regional launch in Rochester, the Rt Revd Dr Brian Castle, Bishop of Tonbridge, said:

“For some years I was a parish priest working in Zambia, and one of the saddest things I had to do was to bury young people, who simply died of hunger. But before it gets to that extreme, hunger brings tiredness and lethargy which means people can’t concentrate, can’t take advantage of education, and find it difficult to work. When we think about the significance of hunger – if we’re able to combat it, not only are we saving lives, but we’re raising potential.”

Bishop Brian urged those gathered to spread the word, saying:

“I’m totally supportive of this campaign – let’s share the message that ending hunger is within our reach.”

Launch of IF campaign at Rochester Cathedral 2Mark Reckless, Conservative Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, helped unveil the ‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’ banner at Rochester Cathedral, and pledged his support for the aims of the campaign. He said:

“The idea of having a law [to spend 0.7 per cent on aid] is something I rather like the idea of, because a problem with government spending is that there is not enough parliamentary control. For that reason, I would support bringing policy in this area into law.”

He added:

“On the point of transparency and tax, if it’s known what multinationals pay in various jurisdictions, then you can put public pressure on them to pay their fair share.”

Emma Kevan, Christian Aid’s Regional Coordinator for Kent said:

“If we can get greater international tax transparency, it will make it harder for money to be hidden in tax havens. This will mean that all governments will have more money to boost farming and nutrition which will allow people to help themselves. We really need to raise our voices through this campaign and improve things for everybody.”

More information about the campaign and other events taking place can be found by visiting the website: http://enoughfoodif.org

MP advises residents to make checks before donating to charitable collectors

frsbMark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood is warning residents of Medway to check they are giving to a registered charity when approached for donations. 2 in 5 adults across the UK do not make any checks when approached by a collector for a charitable donation, according to an independent ICM poll commissioned by the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB).

Christmas is a traditional time for giving and charities work hard to raise money during this time to fund their work. Almost half (44%) of donors give directly to charity at Christmas time, giving an average of around £46 to the good causes they care about. 81% of those who give at Christmas stated they will be donating similar amounts this year as they did in 2011.

Almost all collections are genuine, but some people will try to abuse the generosity of others for their own gain. With some charities having experienced fraud, it is vital that the public know that their donations are going to the right place. The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, and Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), the self-regulatory body for UK fundraising, have come together to highlight the risk of fraud to donors and charities alike, and to issue their tips for giving confidently this Christmas.

200241_10150165354751068_5938208_nMark Reckless MP, says:

“In a tough economic climate it is heartening to see so many Christmas donors continuing to support charities which provide vital support for those most in need. However, it is important for people to check that the charity is registered before giving. It only takes a few minutes to check for a registered charity number and for the FRSB tick, but these are vital steps in ensuring your money goes to the right place.”

Follow these tips to avoid charity scams this Christmas:

  • Before giving, check the charity’s name and registration number. You can verify this at the Charity Commission’s website at http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk.
  • When approached by collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed.
  • If in doubt, ask the collector for more information – a genuine fundraiser should be happy to answer questions and explain more about the work of the charity.
  • Genuine fundraising materials should feature the charity’s name, registered name and a landline contact number. Be wary of those that list only a mobile number.
  • Look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation, encouraging you to give with confidence. http://www.givewithconfidence.org.uk
  • To check whether a fundraiser is authorised to collect money in a public place, contact your local authority or, if in London, the police. If it is a private place, check with the owner.
  • Take care when responding to emails or clicking links to a charity’s website to ensure that they are genuine. Instead, search online for your favourite charity to check you have the right web address.
  • Carefully review collection bags for clothing and household goods to ascertain whether they are from a genuine charity.
  • After making these checks, if you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and inform the Charity Commission.
  • If in any doubt, contact your favoured charity direct to make a donation.

Alistair McLean, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Standards Board – the charity fundraising regulator across the UK, says:

“More and more public complaints reported to us at the FRSB question the legitimacy of fundraising appeals. Where charity fraud occurs, it not only diverts much-needed funds from the nation’s charities, but it comes at an even greater cost of damaging public trust and future giving.

“Although charity fraud remains rare, it is essential that we all do what we can to make it increasingly difficult for criminals to cheat charities and their supporters in this way. And that simply means being aware and, if in doubt, making a few checks to ensure your money ends up where you want it to be. Above all, don’t stop giving. Charities need your support now more than ever.”

Come to Rochester for Santa Charity Fun Run

Tomorrow Rochester plays host to our now annual ‘Santa Run’. Each year in the run-up to Christmas several hundred people, and hopefully next year if not this thousands, hire Santa Claus outfits and ‘parade’ through Rochester High Street and the Castle gardens and area.

Some run and some walk the relatively short route, but all have great fun, and it is just £10. It is an extraordinary sight to see so many people of both genders, from Medway and from further afield, and of all ages kitted out in red and white with fluffy white beards.

As well as bringing increasing publicity and trade to Rochester – the following weekend is the Christmas Dickens festival extending into the Christmas Fair period – the Santa run raises money for the Medway Rotary charities.

For pictures from previous years have a look at www.facebook.com/santafunrunkent

You can enter at any time up until the run starts at 2pm tomorrow, just:

call 01634 681912
email info@santafunrun.net
or pop into the Crown pub next to Rochester bridge which sponsors the event.