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Amazing response to cash crisis

Generous donors have been contributing to the charity after a bank-inspired cash crisis at the Trust was highlighted on the national news.

The Trust's honorary secretary Group Captain Patrick Tootal was interviewed by GB News' Nigel Farage about a 'de-banking' saga that has left the Trust struggling to balance the books since the start of the year.

At the end of a complex chain of correspondence following the Trust's switch to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) several years ago, Barclays reassured the Trust that although it needed to give the charity a new account, it would retain the same sort code and account number.

At the turn of the year, though, the bank u-turned on that pledge, which meant that hundreds of standing order payments from Friends of the Few were returned by the bank to supporters who had used the 'old' bank details.

It left Patrick and a small team of people having to write out to supporters and ask them to use the new details, with a considerable time and postage cost. "And of course it's much easier just to see a standing order go out of your account than it is to go to the trouble of setting up a new one, so we will inevitably lose a significant number of Friends," Patrick pointed out.

Farage, having himself been embroiled in a 'debanking' scandal towards the end of last year, took up the issue on his nightly news programme, was clearly stunned by the bank's behaviour and encouraged his supporters to donate to the charity, which they swiftly did.

"The response has been amazing, and while we are still determined that Barclays needs to compensate the charity for their ridiculous behaviour and the problems it has caused, we are delighted that so many people have contributed so generously," Patrick went on.

"The issue has cost us around £8,000, and that's a lot of money for a small charity with no government or council support, particularly at a time of year when visitor numbers are lower because of the weather."

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