Adventure firm kept £122,000 of charity donations

Published: 04 February 2013

A motorcycle adventure firm used by Princes William and Harry has kept up to £122,000 belonging to charities. 

Global Enduro went into administration last week having failed to pass on customers’ donations dating back to 2011 to four charities including Prince Harry’s Sentebale, supporting orphans in Lesotho.

Participants in a rally each October called Enduro Africa were required to raise £1500 for a 'guaranteed donation' to the charities.

A letter from the charities to the firm dated December 11 last year reveals donations totalling £122,646 from 2011 and 2012 had not been passed on. Sentebale, the charity founded by Prince Harry in 2006, was owed £41286.

Princes William and Harry took part in Enduro Africa in 2008.

Customers’ donations are supposed to be split between Sentebale, Unicef, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Touch Africa.

The letter, from Sentebale on behalf of all the charities, says 'the donations relating to the 2011 challenge remain outstanding'.

It says: 'The charities are determined to collectively uphold the integrity and reputation of each of the charities, and are committed to recovering the funds raised by dedicated and charitable participants and members of the public for the benefit of the charities. The charities cannot accept that the donations raised for charitable purposes have been used to fund Enduro's business and the resulting trading losses, especially where Enduro arranges events that do not carry a charitable element. Nor can the charities tolerate or allow to subsist any circumstances in which their good names and charitable causes are put at risk.'

According to the letter, only Touch Africa had received donations from 2011.

It demands £84,103 outstanding from 2011 in three monthly instalments beginning on December 21 last year. A further £38,542 of donations from 2012 is demanded in full by December 21 last year. 

A spokeswoman for Sentebale said the debt remained unpaid.

She said: 'We can confirm that a number of charities remain in discussions with Global Enduro regarding outstanding payment of money owed. We were advised on the 29th January 2013 that Global Enduro has gone into administration, but we remain committed to taking all reasonable steps to ensure money owed is returned.'

The letter also demands the firm stop using the charities' names and says they are 'very disturbed by the impression given by Enduro to certain of the charities that all of the other charities had agreed to a so-called "payment plant" except for them'.

The website for Enduro Africa says: 'To take part in the trip, riders will need to raise a minimum of £4995 in sponsorship. This target will cover the cost of your trip and the guaranteed donation.

'For each participant, we promise to donate a minimum of £1500 from your overall sponsorship target. The donation is split 30% each to Unicef, Sentebale and Neslon Mandela Children's Fund and 10% to Touch Africa.’

The trip was one of several organised each year by Global Enduro. Other destinations included Asia and South America.

Nick Capsey, a director of the firm, said the debt stood at £119,000.

Capsey sent MCN a 600-word statement which included: 'All we tried to do was remain in business so we could continue to organise charity events and keep assisting clients to help the charities we have supported for the past decade.

'We did this transparently and in communication with the charities.'