Donations to charity fall by £70m

The recession and a squeeze on household incomes is hitting donations to charities, which are down £70m on last year.

A real-terms slump in charitable giving to just over £6bn "leaves many good causes little better off than they were five years ago", according to research by the respected Cass Business School.

The researchers say that charities specialising in foreign aid were among the hardest hit, perhaps because state aid is increasing despite swingeing cuts elsewhere.

The British Heart Foundation has replaced Oxfam as the UK's second largest fund-raising charity. Cancer Research UK remains top; it raised £379m from donors.