Volunteer kept waiting for £20k loan repayment
A VOLUNTEER who gave a £20,000 short-term loan to a Bristol charity to prevent it from going under is still waiting to be fully repaid – almost five years later.
Kevin Barton, 59, was working as a volunteer driver for the Disabled Travel Service when he learned the Fishponds-based charity was in financial difficulty.
To ensure the charity could keep doing its important work – providing paid-for transport for people with mobility problems within a 50-mile radius of Bristol – Mr Barton agreed to lend it £20,000 in January 2008, provided £10,000 was paid back by the end of the following month and the remainder by June that year. But he says DTS continually delayed repayment and ultimately caused him to leave a volunteer job he enjoyed.
Mr Barton, who is semi-retired, has now received almost all his money back but is still waiting for £750, plus £1,500 interest.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Mr Barton, of Sneyd Park, said: "I loaned the money because I was completely enamoured with the charity and the vital work it did. Even now I believe the charity and what it does is a very good thing for Bristol."
Mr Barton said DTS company secretary and founder Martyn Hancock approached him about being a trustee and confided that the charity was having trouble with the Inland Revenue, which meant they would lose their vans.
"I was very happy to give them a short-term loan because of the work they did," he said. "I saw their accounts and they were technically solvent because of money they were owed. However, if they lost their vans – the main source of their income – they would fold. I felt like I had the opportunity to save the charity and do something good."
Mr Barton says he was initially told the charity would pay £5,000 back within one week and £10,000 by the end of February 2008 but by March that year he says he was beginning to worry. By the end of 2010, £1,250 was still outstanding. No repayments were made in 2011, while so far this year he has received £500.
Mr Hancock said Mr Barton's loan had stopped the charity going under. He agreed that the situation had left him professionally embarrassed.
"When the commitment was made, the company had some hefty contracts coming in but over a period of time we developed some cash flow problems," he said. "Our income has dropped considerably over the past five years and we don't get any handouts from the council.
"Essentially, we have kept things going on a shoestring budget. I was working on financial promises made to us by other charities.
"I would never have promised something I didn't believe I could deliver but it all went pear-shaped."
Mr Hancock said the whole amount, plus interest, would be paid to Mr Barton by November 30.