Charity issues

Darley Park concert 10p ticket contribution to Derventio Housing – helping the homeless, or the highly paid?

7 sponsors of the Hannell’s Darley Park Concert have committed to personally donate 10p for every ticket sale to 2 local charities who “Help the Homeless” – The Padley Centre and Derventio Housing Trust. Based on last year’s reported ticket sales this will generate a total of about £1200.

For Derventio Housing, this is a “drop in the ocean”. An organisation that reported income in 2018 of £6.5m and who’s Managing Director, Sarah Hernandez, receives a remuneration package of £140,000 pa. The combined remuneration in 2018 of the 5 people who constitute the “Board and Strategic Management Team” was just over £533k – an increase on the previous year of £137k, for the same 5 people.

Sarah Hernandez – MD Derventio Housing


Is a £600 contribution to Derventio really going to “Help the Homeless”?

Derventio Housing Trust CIC

Derventio is a Community Interest Company (CIC), not a charity.

“A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.”

Typically this means that the organisation will have a trading arm, to generate profits that can supplement other forms of funding.  Shareholders are nominal, and receive no dividends or any other payments.

Derventio is a well-established organisation in the City providing social housing and services to support people who are, or are at risk of being, homeless

“We are also a social enterprise, which means that all of our profits are reinvested for good.” (Derventio Housing)

Derventio started trading on 1 January 2010 after it demerged from Derbyshire Housing Aid Ltd ( now Direct Help and Advice – DHA).  As reported in DHA’s 2011 accounts  the split was complicated by “all of the issues surrounding that process and the departure of the CEO”. The CEO ( Chief Executive Officer) was Sarah Hernandez. In her last year at DHA she received a remuneration of just over £60,000.


A keen eye on the Darley park Concert poster will highlight that there are actually 8 sponsors/supporters (including Hannells) for the event.  The one not reported as supporting the charity contribution initiative is an organisation called H2O.

Section from Darley Park Concert poster

H20 is a independent limited company, which was formed with 1 shareholder, and 1 director – Sarah Hernandez – the Managing Director of Derventio Housing Trust.

Although it was incorporated in 2013 it didn’t start trading until 2016 making £200k profit in it’s first 17 month period. It’s business is the maintenance and servicing of Derventio’s housing stock from which it received £1.3m. This profit is now outside of the Derventio CIC and is for the benefit of the single shareholder, Sarah Hernandez, and not available to be “re-invested for good”

The registered office of H2O is 33 Boyer Street in Derby. This building is owned by Derventio and is the location of its offices.


This article is not questioning the dedication and professionalism of the staff at Derventio Housing Trust.

Questions do need to be asked as to why the sponsors of the Darley Park Concert think that a 10p per ticket contribution will “Help the Homeless” given Derventio’s significant, and escalating, salary costs. Is it a naive PR stunt?

Why is a small limited company, formed with 1 beneficial shareholder, Sarah Hernandez, which has received  £1.3m from Derventio, from which a substantial profit was made, “sponsoring” a local entertainment event?

H2O has no identifiable offices, no website , and no separate physical identity from Derventio. In fact, on the Derby Live website,  the link from “H2O” is to Derventio. Why channel money to a separate independent company, owned by the MD, when the CIC structure is in place to accommodate a trading arm?

To put this “contribution” into context – it will take over 100 years of 10p contributions from the Darley Park concert to pay for Sarah Hernandez’s salary for just 1 year. Is that really “helping the homeless” or “helping the highly paid”?


Categories: Charity issues

1 reply »

  1. Excellent investigative journalism Mr Pollard,and a well written article.I loved the old free Darley Park Concerts and I was very sceptical when Derby City Council started closing off public parks and allowed charging for events,especially as many of these green areas were donated to the Corporation on the strict assurances that all the citizens of Derby would have free access to these places.Your article provides another good reason for the public to vote with their wallets ,by listening and watching this still great music event for free ,outside the security fences.Let us hope that the prevailing wind is blowing in the right direction on the day !

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