Sources have told 5Pillars that the chairman and founder of Penny Appeal, Adeem Younis, has been suspended in what appears to be an internal dispute in the organisation.
Over the past few years Younis has become one of the most prominent Muslims in Britain, having founded the successful dating and marriage business SingleMuslim.com and then the charity Penny Appeal which is a major presence on British Muslim TV.
Following indications from a variety of reliable sources, we contacted Penny Appeal directly through a number of channels, including CEO Aamer Naeem, and did not receive a denial of the story, despite assurances that we wouldn’t publish if a denial was forthcoming.
The reports of Younis’s suspension, seemingly shortly after returning from a business trip to Pakistan, come soon after the Charity Commission confirmed that Penny Appeal had submitted a “serious incident report” related to financial concerns.
Both the Wakefield-based charity and the Charity Commission refused to comment further while an investigation is ongoing. However, Penny Appeal said there was no significant risk to existing operations and the charity continues to operate as normal.
Although it has yet to be established if any, or none, of these apply to the Penny Appeal case, a serious incident presents (or potentially presents) a considerable risk to the assets, beneficiaries or reputation of a charity.
When it comes to financial matters, these could include incidences of fraud or theft, loss of the charity’s money or assets, or damage to the charity’s property.
Younis, 38, has been a serial entrepreneur from an early age. He founded SingleMuslim.com when he was just 19 and it’s claimed that the site has helped to facilitate over 100,000 marriages.
Younis won Charity Chair of the Year in 2018 at the Third Sector Awards, and earlier this year was also recognised by then Prime Minister Theresa May for his “exceptional service to the charity sector.”
Penny Appeal says it provides poverty relief across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, with programmes to help the poor and needy by building wells, caring for orphans, providing nutritious food, delivering emergency aid in response to crisis situations and providing healthcare.
It also works in the UK to help homeless people and women who have experienced domestic abuse.
According to the Charity Commission, its income for the financial year ending April 2018 was £24.6m, 75% of which it spent on charitable activities.
Penny Appeal is endorsed by celebrities such as the boxer Amir Khan, entrepreneur James Caan and Pakistani actress Mehwish Hayat, and has partnerships with the Department for Education and the Jo Cox Foundation.