Chairman of Redbridge sick children’s charity speaks out about conman

The chairman of the charity Hopes and Dreams, which grants wishes to sick children, says she’s “still waiting” for funds from a convicted conman who organised bogus fundraising events.

Ruth Salahi, 61, of Somersby Gardens, Redbridge who runs Hopes and Dreams along with 17 volunteers has spoken out about Gary Ferris, 38, who held 15 different events to fund his gambling addiction.

The charity raised the alarm when venues started writing to them in February 2008 asking for certificates for the money donated.

Ruth said: “He knew we were onto him; I should’ve been a policeman. This situation went on for months and I was speaking to pub owners who had helped raise money and they were so angry.

“When he was given a two year suspended sentence, he said he would pay the money back - we are still waiting.

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“I take everything to heart and want to help as many children as possible.”

A full interview with Ruth is in the Recorder out on Thursday.

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