A ROW has erupted after a fundraising organisation was kicked out of a Hampshire retail centre amid concerns over its lack of charity status.

The dispute at Fareham Shopping Centre began after organisation Our Brave Heroes, which raises money for ex-servicemen and women, set up a stall in the precinct.

But when concerns were raised by shoppers about the organisation – which is not a registered charity and only gives 20 per cent of its takings to ex-armed forces – they were asked to leave.

A trustee at the organisation insists that Our Brave Heroes was well-received by the public and raised a substantial amount of money in Fareham.

Formed in 2014, the organisation says it seeks to support veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and provide employment training and accommodation for people returning from active service.

Gordon Ross, a trustee, said they were awaiting registered charity status and working with professional fundraising firm First Promotions.

He said representatives felt “belittled” by centre staff when made to leave adding that “turnover” was higher than average during the three and a half days it traded in Fareham.

Daily Echo:

Len Chappell, chief executive of Forces Online, a group for service veterans, said he had been contacted by people concerned about the fundraising stall.

He said: “We feel very strongly about people collecting money on the back of work carried out by our armed forces personnel if the money is not in some way to support them.”

A Fareham shopping centre spokesperson said: “A member of the council’s team visited the centre and was unsatisfied that Our Brave Heroes were fundraising in an acceptable way.”