Captain Tom charity paid thousands to daughter’s firm set up days before foundation established

A foundation set up in the name of Captain Sir Tom Moore paid tens of thousands of pounds to companies run by the fundraiser’s daughter and her husband – one of which was registered only days before the charity was incorporated.

The Captain Tom Foundation, established in 2020 after the former army officer gained national attention with his pandemic fundraising efforts, received more than £1m in donations in its first year.

Accounts for the charity published in recent days reveal that £54,039 has been paid to two companies run by Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, and her husband, Colin. They also show that more money was spent on management costs than was given to charities.

The Independent can also reveal that the Charity Commission watchdog has a live regulatory compliance case – used to look into whether charities are acting in line with legal requirements – on the foundation.

Ms Ingram-Moore, who has spoken about setting up the foundation, was appointed a trustee of the charity on 1 February 2021 but resigned on 15 March, according to accounts. Her husband, Colin, was appointed a trustee on the same date and remains in post on the board as the family’s representative.

People can be paid for providing services to charities for which they serve as trustees. However, Charity Commission guidance states that “the total number of trustees who are either receiving payment or who are connected to someone receiving payment are in a minority”. For more than a month while Ms Ingram-Moore was a trustee, she and her husband made up half of the total trustees.

The watchdog also points out that there must be a written agreement between the charity and the trustee or connected person who is to be paid and that “the trustee concerned may not take part in decisions made by the trustee board about the making of the agreement, or about the acceptability of the service provided”.

The Charity Commission told The Independent its regulatory compliance case into the Captain Tom Foundation was opened in March last year and is still live. “We have been in ongoing contact with the trustees of the Captain Tom Foundation on its set-up and governance arrangements and as part of this work will now assess the charity’s recently submitted accounts,” a Charity Commission spokesperson said.

The accounts, covering its first year from 5 May 2020 to 31 May 2021, show the foundation handed out four donations to charities worth £40,000 each but spent £209,433 on support costs including £162,336 on “management”.

Under a section detailing “related party transactions”, the accounts state: “During the period reimbursement of costs of £16,097 were made to Club Nook Limited, a company under the control of H Ingram-Moore (a trustee for part of the period and spouse of a trustee), in respect of accommodation, security and transport relating to Captain Sir Tom Moore travelling around the UK to promote the charitable company. H Ingram-Moore and D C Ingram-Moore are also directors of Club Nook Limited.”

A Companies House filing reveals that Club Nook was registered on 24 April 2020, less than a fortnight before the Captain Tom Foundation was incorporated on 5 May.

The charity’s accounts show that tens of thousands has been paid to Maytrix Group, a consultancy firm run by the couple. The accounts state: “During the period payments of £37,942 were made to Maytrix Group Limited, a company under the joint control of D C Ingram-Moore and H Ingram-Moore, in respect of website costs (£5,030), photography costs (£550), office rental (£4,500), telephone costs (£656) and third-party consultancy costs (£27,205).

“These costs were initially funded by Maytrix Group Limited on behalf of the charitable company, and reimbursed when sufficient funds were available. H Ingram-Moore and D C Ingram-Moore are also directors of Maytrix Group Limited.”

Ingram-Moore was a trustee of the charity for six weeks before resigning (PA)
Ingram-Moore was a trustee of the charity for six weeks before resigning (PA)

In addition, the accounts note: “During the period, expense payments of £1,686 were made to H Ingram-Moore in respect of motor, post, subscription and travel costs.”

In a “me and my money” item in The Mail on Sunday this month, Ms Ingram said: “I recently set up the Captain Tom Foundation to celebrate and empower our ageing population.”

Asked how she helped with her late father’s fundraising effort, she told the newspaper: “The £40m that my father raised went straight to NHS Charities Together. We supported his efforts with company money.

“My husband and I run our own consultancy business and during the three-and-a-half weeks my father was fundraising, we paid some of our employees to help us manage the millions of emails and hundreds of interview requests he received. It would have been impossible to sustain the fundraising otherwise.”

A statement by the chair of trustees says that the charity was established by Sir Tom – who died in February last year after contracting Covid – and his family. “The foundation was established to promote causes that were close to Captain Sir Tom’s heart – especially those addressing the issues of loneliness and mental health,” it says.

The four £40,000 donations were paid to the Royal British Legion, MIND, Willen Hospice and Helen and Douglas House, a hospice focusing on end-of-life care for children.

The accounts state that three further charities, YouthNetUK, Young Minds Trust and Place2BE, have been awarded discretionary grants which will be reported in the next set of accounts. After the balance sheet date, the accounts state the trustees agreed to make discretionary donations to the Edith Cavell Fund for Nurses, the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity and the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Under a section detailing its “reserves policy”, the charity accounts state: “The trustees hold all the foundation’s assets in unrestricted funds which at the period end amounted to £695,889. At this time the trustees consider that maintaining reserves of circa £500,000 is sufficient to ensure its ongoing commitments can be met.”

In a statement, the Captain Tom Foundation said: “The Captain Tom Foundation was set up in May 2020 and launched in September 2020 to continue Captain Sir Tom’s legacy and to build on the beacon of hope that he had become. In the period 5 May 2020 – 31 May 2021, The foundation was dedicated to combating loneliness, championing education and equality and supporting those facing bereavement.”

Maytrix Group has been contacted for comment on behalf of the firm and the Ingram-Moores.