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More than £6,000 raised for charity at Tipsy Tea Party has never reached them

Glynis Sinclair.
Glynis Sinclair.

More than £6,000 was raised at a high-profile charity event in Inverness which sparked a police investigation and complaints that a women’s group had never been paid.

A document submitted yesterday to Highland Council revealed for the first time that £6,646 was the declared return from a controversial raffle held for Inverness Women’s Aid.

It also confirmed that not a penny has been received by the charity to date from the fundraising event at the Tipsy Tea Party, which was attended by about 1,300 people this summer.

The Press and Journal revealed last month that the police had been called in to investigate a dispute involving thousands of pounds raised at the tea party.

The issue – which is believed to centre on a row between the Inverness Women’s Aid and tea party organisers Posh Stuff Events – remains subject to an ongoing police inquiry.

The charity’s lottery return, submitted to the local authority yesterday, states that it is “unable to confirm the exact figure raised”, but “£6,646” is also written in brackets.

Raffle promoter Glynis Sinclair, the chairwoman of Inverness Women’s Aid, reported to police that money was not received.

Speaking yesterday, she said: “I can only confirm that was the figure declared on the account – the amount that the raffle achieved.”

She declined to comment further due to the ongoing legal process.

According to the 2005 Gambling Act, at least 20% of the proceeds of a small society lottery must go to the charity or non-commercial purpose for which the promotion was tailored.

The £6,646 figure is also believed to feature on a spreadsheet submitted by Posh Stuff Events.

About 1,300 people attended the £22-a-ticket event at the city’s Northern Meeting Park on July 17, with raffle tickets costing £2 apiece.

Its prizes included a long weekend to New York, a big-screen TV and a Blu-ray DVD player.

The dispute over the money remains in the hands of lawyers for both the charity and the tea party organisers.

Posh Stuff Events could not be contacted yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the firm had previously said that it was not aware of any problem with the money, but that it had not been paid its fee.

She had added that some weeks before the tea party, the firm had raised thousands of pounds for the Marie Curie charity.

The tea party was initially thought to have raised about £30,000 for the charity.

However, it was later reported that the final amount could be far lower due to the running costs of organising the event.

It is understood that questions have been raised over the top prize in the raffle – a long weekend in New York – and whether it was donated or paid for.

The event was originally proposed as an event for 200 people to be staged at the city’s Bught Park on the same day as the Highland Games and Inverness Gala.

Such was the scale of interest that it was subsequently switched to the Northern Meeting Park because thousands of people had expressed support on social media.

It was promoted as an “afternoon of cocktails, cake, entertainment and posh frocks”.

There were three sittings of the “afternoon tea” with entertainment between 11am and 9pm, and more than 50 vendors setting up in a “Tipsy Village”.

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