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Diana's death boosts money for charities

THE death of Diana, Princess of Wales, sparked an massive increase in the amount of money given to charity, it emerged yesterday.

As trustees of the memorial fund moved to quell criticism of the way the first round of grants have been distributed, some charities said that her death had raised awareness of the importance of donating money.

Vicki Pulman, of the Charities Aid Foundation, said that although a few organisations had lost out as millions of pounds flooded into the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, many others had benefited.

"In the months after her death there was a massive increase in the amount of money given to charity," she said.

"It stimulated a lot of people who had not previously donated money and it was given to all kinds of charities."

Many organisations who were never associated with the Princess said they had benefited after her death.

Save the Children, whose patron is the Princess Royal, said they had received a large number of donations in memory of Diana.

Joanne Bailey, a spokeswoman for the organisation, said: "There was a new kind of understanding of why it was important to give to charity and we were very gratified by that."

Olive Gearing, of Oxfam, said that in the months after Diana's death, many people had made spontaneous donations in her name.

"Our shop staff reported that a lot of money was given to us in recognition of the fact that we do the type of work that she supported," she said.

The trustees of the memorial fund said yesterday that it would become a vital source of charitable donations. They have been criticised for allocating pounds 8m to eight causes while 95 other charities will share pounds 5m.

But Vivienne Parry, one of the trustees, said: "There will be so many grant announcements that in the end people will take no notice, even though some of them will be for large sums of money," she said.

"The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund will become part and parcel of everyday life in Britain."

Most of the charities who will receive a share of the pounds 5m, including Barnados and Help The Aged, said yesterday that it was an unexpected bonus.