Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Charity / legal help needed

My beer fund for London emergency service workers is growing apace, to the extent that I’m getting a tad worried. If anyone knows of any ways I can make this more transparent and legit – or just has any advice on how to organise a thank-you piss-up for off-duty emergency personnel, suggestions would be most welcome.

For some reason people don’t tend to take enquiries from someone calling themself “Nosemonkey” particularly seriously… Can’t imagine why…


  1. Luckily I specialise in Charity and related law so…

    1. Make sure you keep at least a cashbook account of all donations – a simple spreadsheet will do.

    2. If things are growing that rapidly, you may need to consider setting up a specific bank account to hold the funds.

    3. Put a time limit on how long you'll accept donations and be careful you don't generate a meme which runs and runs like that bloody postcard business – you don't want to be receiving donations in five years time so it on closing the 'appeal' it may be worth switching to a new paypal account and closing the old one.

    4. Not sure of the mechanics of organising a piss up for the emergency services. I hate to say this but you may have been a bit precipitous with that particular promise – the usual way of expressing financial support for the emergency services tends to be by way of donation to their benevolent funds which look after those injured in the line of duty.

    Don't forget that unless you're going to run a 24 hour rolling piss up, the majority of those in the emergency services will be unable to make it due to being on duty – especially as the bombings would have seen crews pulled in from across the whole of London.

    The best thing to do may be to contact the police, fire brigade, etc, explain the situation and ask them how they'd like you to proceed with this. I doubt anyone would mind if you didn't end up buying the beer so long as the donations went to the services own chosen causes.

    5. Be transparent – when you make the donations get a letter of thanks or a photo of you making the donation to show people where the money went.

    6. Don't allow this to go on past the end of next financial year – your appeal is not charitable in law and therefore subject to income tax if the money is not donated before March 31 2006 – hence the need to make sure you keep accounts in sufficient detail to satisfy the revenue that everything has gone to the right causes and that you've gained nothing personally from this.

    Any questions/probs just email me at

  2. Dont forget the volunteers who turned out. I was one of over 37 crews in St. John Ambulances who attended, also we had mobile treatment centres, equipment support vehicles, control officers, Doctors, Nurses and others all within our organisation turn up and other charities will have had a similar response. We (almost) all left our day jobs to help out.

  3. Unity – thanks. Helpful stuff.

    Anonymous – I'm trying not to forget anyone. St John's and other volunteers certainly deserve a pint or two. Still trying to work out the logistics of it though.

    I suppose I could always just turn up with a crate of lager…

  4. I work in the Operational Services Department for St. John Ambulance London (Prince of Wales's) District. St John Ambulance managed to deploy over 30 VOLUNTEER ambulances & crews as well as nearly 20 VOLUNTEER Mobile Treatment Units and crews. If you are serious about organising a piss-up for those involved I can suggest that the best way to get the booze to St John Ambulance volunteers is to call the London District HQ (0207 258 3456) and ask to speak to the Operational Services Manager as I'm sure he'd be able to assist you in getting our members to a pub where you could pick up the tab if you are serious about this, and I'm sure we could also invite the London Ambulance Service as well.

  5. I am 100% serious about this – if you could bunk me an email with a contact name, it'd be a help. I can keep you entirely anonymous if you like – hell, I'm working under a pseudonym, so I know the feeling…

    It's nosemonkey AT gmail DOT com

    If not, I'll try that number later on – cheers!

  6. I agree with Anonymous @ 334pm.

    Pick a pub
    Set the whole thing up with the owner
    Place posters and give flyers to people, stating that if they're the guys in blue, free booze – just show your id/badge at the pub.

    As for the volunteers, discuss that with the organization they work with.

    Just know, there is no way to guarantee that everyone is going to get their free drinks that day.

    Whatever is left, donate to a fund.

    Good luck!

  7. I second the suggestion made by the St. John Ambulance employee. (Anonymous at 3:34.) As one of the donors, I didn't intend to complicate your life with paperwork and charity regs, so if his idea works, all the better. Thanks for being so concerned about getting it right.

    Helen in Maryland

  8. Nosemonkey, one way to do it would be to get a message to those that attended that you will be putting the money raised 'behind the bar' at a pub on a certain night, then tell them which pub and which night.

  9. So how high has the beer fund grown, anyway?

  10. Tom – currently standing at between 150=200 pints, depending on the pub. Or, should I go for the cans of lager approach, probably about 312 cans (more if I can find a cash and carry).

    I'm in the process of trying to get one of the big British media organisations to take this over – I'll keep people informed if anything comes of this.

    thanks again to everyone who's donated. I've had word from the guy I know on the Met – after insanely long hours in deeply difficult circumstances, he's too shattered to do anything other than try and sleep at the moment, but sounded very touched. I'll make an announcement as soon as I get any more news.

  11. "La Bona" – if you're wondering why your comment's gone, read the Comments Policy. I'm enforcing it again.

  12. Since this has originated through a blog, maybe you should also contact the random acts of reality guy, the blogging ambulance driver.
    I'm sure he'd fancy a pint and know of many colleagues who would too. Also, he'd be useful in putting the word around amongst ambulance crews, no doubt.