A Chesterfield charity is embroiled in a national media storm – after the family of Ashya King said it failed to deliver its promises of help.
Kids ‘n’ Cancer raised £50,000 to pay for the youngster’s brain tumour treatment – but now says the donations will be used to aid other sick children and their families after the NHS agreed to help Ashya.
The Charity Commission has this week confirmed it is to probe Kids ‘n’ Cancer about exactly how the £50,000 will be used.
Ashya King’s brother blasted the charity for not giving the family any money – but Mike Hyman, chief executive of Kids ‘n’ Cancer, said they were willing to help before the NHS stepped in.
Naveed King, Ashya’s brother, said in an online post: “Kids ‘n’ Cancer has never given us any money.”
He also said the charity had refused to pay the family’s legal fees, adding: “They say we are greedy asking for help.”
Speaking to the Derbyshire Times this week, Mike Hyman, chief executive of Kids ‘n’ Cancer, insisted the charity was prepared to give the Kings the £50,000 in donations for Ashya’s proton beam therapy.
He said: “We didn’t know the NHS was going to step in and we can’t legally help pay their legal fees – we’re a charity. Deep down I do believe they’re greedy but I’ve never said that to them. I also think they’re crazy to have allowed Naveed to run a social media campaign. I feel incredibly sad about the whole situation.”
Mr Hyman added: “Kids ‘n’ Cancer has helped many families over the years and will continue to do so. There are many families who do not get the sort of donations that the Kings have had. Now the treatment has been paid for, the donations will go towards helping other sick children and their families.”
The Derbyshire Times asked Mr Hyman to name specific children and families who would benefit from the money – but he refused to reveal these details because of “data protection”. He said: “The money will go towards helping children and families who come to Kids ‘n’ Cancer for support.”
The Charity Commission has confirmed it will be asking questions of Kids ‘n’ Cancer about how the £50,000 will be used. A spokesman said: “We are aware of media reports concerning funds raised by Kids ‘n’ Cancer for the treatment of Ashya King.
“We will be requesting information from the trustees about how much was raised by the Ashya King appeal and how the funds will be used as it appears they are no longer needed to fund Ashya’s medical treatment. Any funds raised by a charity must be applied in a way that is consistent with the charity’s objects and the nature of the appeal.”
Mr Hyman said he would be “open and transparent” and provide the Charity Commission with the information it requests.
Last month’s Chesterfield marathon fun run raised £375 of the £50,000. Ashya’s story hit the headlines in August when his parents took him from hospital.