Dispute over fund set up to help four-year-old Harvey Thompson
Updated 11:30am Wednesday 30th April 2014 in News
A dispute has flared over money raised to help a York boy being treated for cancer in the United States.
Four-year-old Harvey Thompson, from Foxwood, is undergoing potentially lifesaving radiotherapy treatment in Oklahoma as part of a fight against a brain tumour.
A fundraising drive was organised to help pay for Harvey and his family's living costs while he is in the US with his father Dave and grandfather Frank, and Harvey's Fund was set up.
The appeal for help was so successful that by February it had raised nearly £15,000 and Harvey's Fund is now looking to become a registered charity to help other families in similar positions.
But Harvey's family have said they have not received a fair amount of money and they and the trustees who run the fund are now in dispute.
A spokeswoman for the Fund said no money had been witheld and that it was trying to help when Harvey’s family declined further funding.
Harvey's Fund contacted North Yorkshire Police and the force is investigating a theft allegation made by the Fund.
Meanwhile, a separate charity, Kids 'n' Cancer, has said it has been asked by the hospital in America to step in to give financial support to the Thompson family.
Kerrie Thompson, Harvey's mum, said: "[My family] are asking for money and they have not had a reply.
"The fund was set up out of goodwill and people have been donating thinking Harvey will get what they have put in. I have had a few complaints saying the money has not been used for what they thought it was for.
"We never wanted it to be a charity . Had I have known, I would never have let anyone get involved, it's not what me and my husband wanted. We just wanted to raise money to get to the US and whatever was left over after he came back we wanted to donate to brain tumour charities."
Harvey’s Fund which has five trustees - Charlotte Morgan, Claire Bird, Sally Minskip, Karen Jackson and Kerry Burns - said it had given as much money as had been agreed.
It said as it now operates as a charitable trust and in line with guidance from the Charity Commission. The trustees said it will offer help to other families in Yorkshire in the future.
They said in a statement: "The fund has issued grants of around £6000 to the family, this is in excess of the initial target which was £5000.
"We have been overwhelmed by the support for the charity and the generosity of local people
"In future the charity will offer financial support to families affected by childhood illness, in the Yorkshire area.
"Due to a series of issues, lines of communication have become difficult, but the charity is actively trying to keep in touch with the family.
"We were unaware that the family have ran out of funds and are saddened by this news given that there is a sick child in the middle of this.
"In recent contact from the family in America, they have declined any further support from Harvey’s Fund. Mrs Thompson has previously declined support from the charity."
She said inaccurate information about the Fund had been posted on social media websites, and said the Fund was seeking legal advice.
Woodthorpe Primary School pupil Harvey, needs a specialised form of radiotherapy available in Oklahoma or Florida to safely remove the final part of the tumour from his brain stem.
Mrs Thompson said he is responding well and she hopes he may be home by his fifth birthday in May.