The Charity Commission has rejected calls to prevent children’s charity NCH changing its name today to Action for Children.
Action for Kids, which like Action for Children works with disabled children and has headquarters in North London, complained to the commission over the proposed name change earlier this year. Chief executive Mike Hayes argued that the public had confused the charities previously when the former NCH had used the “Action for Children” strap-line in the 1990s.
Three other charities – West London Action for Children, Action for Sick Children and Action for Children’s Art – also said they could suffer as a result of the name change.
However, in a letter confirming its decision, the commission said that while there had been public confusion in the 1990s, there was not a “material risk” of confusion now. This was because people tended to access information about charities through the internet where branding was more visible and more details could be given about a charity’s work.
But it called on Action for Children to take steps to raise awareness of other charities with “action” and “children” or “kids” in their titles, for instance by placing links to them on its website, clearly indicating that they were separate entities.
It also said Action for Children should meet any reasonable administrative costs arising from the name change for the other charities.
Action for Children’s executive director of public affairs, Polly Neate, said it had a link to Action for Kids on its website and had offered the same to the other charities, and was waiting for them to confirm whether they wanted this or not.
She said Action for Children was “very confident” that the other charities would not incur any costs, but added: “If they were to incur costs and were able to demonstrate that, then we have given a commitment to help them out.”
Neate said: “We’re absolutely determined that our name change should not adversely affect anyone in the sector. It would be completely against our objectives for that to happen, and we’ve worked very closely with other charities and the Charity Commission all along.”
Hayes said Action for Kids would take further action if any evidence of public confusion came to light.