Posts tagged ‘Alcohol Concern’

Alcohol Concern: Still a fake charity

The new year brings with it the plaintive sound of the begging bowl being rattled once again by fake-charity Alcohol Concern in the form of Dry January.

Personally I have no plans to ever stop drinking for an entire month if I can avoid it so will instead be an enthusiastic participant of Drinkuary. No doubt the beer and wine I picked up from Waitrose on Monday will come in handy!

Given that the temperance lobby are going to be all over sections of the media like a cheap suit, it would seem like a good time to take a look at the 2013 accounts for Alcohol Concern – conveniently filed with the Charity Commission barely three weeks ago.

Alcohol Concern’s total income for the year ending 31st March 2013 was £1,028,828. This breaks down into £765,890 in voluntary income (grants, donations etc), £260,449 from operating activities (consultancy, training etc) and £489 in interest.¹

The voluntary income is, as always, the interesting bit. In the 2012/13 financial year Alcohol Concern received grants from the following:²

Name (£) Amount
Welsh Assembly Government 225,626
Department for Education (DfE) 222,298
Comic Relief 106,398
Tudor Trust 50,000
Esmee Fairburn 40,000
Trust for London 29,976

That’s a total of £674,298 from third-party organisations (2 governmental, 4 charitable) and only £91,592 in ‘Donations & Sundry Receipts’. In percentage terms:

Grouping Amount (£) % of Voluntary Income % of All Income
Totals: 765,890 100 74.44
Governmental 447,924 58.48 43.54
Other Charities* 226,374 29.56 22.00
Donations 91,592 11.96 8.90

43.54% of all of Alcohol Concern’s income is provided to them by thee and I via the taxes the government levies on us for having the temerity to earn a living and consume things. Less than 9% of their income comes via ‘Donations & Sundry Receipts’ – for which no further breakdown is provided so it may hide a multitude of sins.

Alcohol Concern still fit the Devil’s definition of a fake-charity, me thinks.

¹ Page 15
² Page 18
* Investigation of the finances of these charities to determine how much of their income is via the taxpayer is required.


The revelry is over, the new year finally under way, the hangovers dealt with and the time to reel in the drinking has arrived (although, obviously not, if you have a public holiday on Jan 2nd to get over the 1st).

But wait, what horror this way comes? Ah, I see it now… it is a cash-strapped fake-charity frantically tying to hitch themselves to the bandwagon of the post-festive drying out period in an attempt to raising money to keep themselves on the hamster-wheel of puritanical lobbying.

For those who are, about now, wondering if I wrote this whilst slowly pickling myself in a large vat of Christmas sherry I shall explain.

In October 2011, Alcohol Concern (the aforementioned fake-charity), lost a lot of their funding after the government decided not to give them any more money stolen from the taxpayer. Whilst for many of us this is a cause for celebration and much merriment, Alcohol Concern weren’t too amused.

Desperate to raise some cash in order to continue to pump out dodgy statistics and lobby ministers and civil serpents in the Department of Health, our penniless puritans came up with what they must have thought was a great wheeze: a sponsored Dry January. What could be more fun than staying off of the sauce and raising money for an organisation which exists simply to hector you about your drinking? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously.

The forces of light are not, thankfully, letting this pass uncontested and by the good offices of Anonymong we have a more useful January idea: Drinkuary.

Drinkuary is a quiet counter argument to Alcohol Concern’s “Dry January”. Alcohol Concern want you to not have a drink for the whole month and raise money for them whilst you do so, I don’t care one way or another if you drink or not. I do care that tax funded charities and health organisations feel compelled to tell us how to live our lives.

Although the whole shebang is now under way there is an “official” launch party this coming Sunday (January 6th) at The Silver Cross, 33 Whitehall, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2BX from 1400.

MG will be in attendance and no doubt a number of fellow bloggers will be there for a lemonade or two.