Lighthouse Kidz

Lighthouse International Group setup a community interest company (CIC) called Lighthouse Kidz with it’s stated agenda to mentor children and “get the support they desperately need to get a great start in life” with a further emphasis on getting clean water to the worlds poor. Aspirations very much in line with WaterAid and other noble and amazing life changing initiatives just like them.

Missing Money?

This article goes into detail about what I know about Lighthouse Kidz and my involvement with it as a former mentee of Kris Deichler and raises a legitimate concern held by myself and others as to whether the money taken for charity events where it was said 100% of the funds would go to help provide clean water to those in need actually did go to them.

As the following evidence seems to suggest the funds may not have.

Clean Water Drive

In 2016 I was more then willing to participate in an initiative that Lighthouse were running to raise money for the worlds poor and help give them their human right and dignity via safe & clean water. LIG advised me and others that it would be charitable initiative with 100% of the monies raised going to the clean water campaign and that it would be run through Lighthouse Kidz (the full and official name on Companies House being: Lighthouse Kids Community Interest Company here >)

Football 4 Water Campaign

The premise was very simple, lets have fun with friends, network and raise money for a good cause at the same time and so “Football 4 Water” was launched.

They would tap their network (including me) and encourage these individuals to get a bunch of their mates together to play 5 aside football once a month at an indoor venue in East London called Play On (their website here >).

Sounded great to me! Not only did it sound like a laugh and opportunity to network and potentially meet new friends but with each person paying £20 quid and so each 5 aside team contributing £100 to the kitty each month we’d be helping a good cause as well as having a great time!

Football 4 Water Event (Aug 2016)

The below is a video of the August 2016 tournament. Whilst not everyone you see in the background was part of our group I’d say there were at least 100-150 people from our group.

RIP for Football 4 Water

Whilst some members and teams did come and go from my point of view the monthly event was going well but after about I’d say 6 months (maybe less) it stopped. No reason was given but probably the September / October 2016 event was the last ever “Football 4 Water” get together.

I found our later from a friend that according to him they’d been able to sell the concept to the manager that they’d bring 100+ people to their venue & so the money they’d spend on food and drinks would be their win. Plus on the basis they’re a charity they’d like the pitches for free.

Not a bad deal. As the Play On website shows each court is £50/hour and with 20+ teams and multiple courts in use at any one time (some were resting) during the 15 minute matches.

However from what he advised, the manager/owner quite understandably soon asked for a contribution from LIG from each player on court. I can only speculate what happened next but based on my experience and others on Reddit (here >) LIG continues to have a very strange I’d say hostile relationship when it comes to money so no deal was made as we never played there again.

End of the Events

Now I’m not for a second trying to poke fun or say there was something dodgy about a campaign that was pretty heavily promoted and then one month just disappeared with no explanation as to why. It could well have been as simple as not enough people were attending to make it worth their while or they could not find a new venue who would agree such favourable terms or whatever.

Lord knows I have spend many thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours trying to bring xyz to market in my businesses over the last 17yrs with some never taking off or later being wound down due to the income they produce and time they required just not being worth my time and so there is no attempt to shame or belittle here. My interest is what happened to the money…

Monies Raised

To keep things simple I would say it was fair to say that at any event there were say 20 five aside teams. With each individual chipping in £20 quid and so teach team paying £100 that times 20 teams means that a healthy £2,000 was raised each month. I think it ran for 6 months or so in 2016 and so to keep it simple: £2,000 per event x 6 events = £12,000 raised via Football 4 Water.

And as mentioned before the events were definitely marketed as a charity event and with the football pitches being provided for free there are no expenses incurred in running this campaign minus perhaps the train fare of those hosting the event. It was also cash or bank transfer too and so there is no reason why ALL monies raised could not go to an established clean water charity.

Financial Questions

However even though the Lighthouse Kids Community Interest Company was clearly trading in 2016 by hosting a number of events, taking thousands of pounds of income the accounts given to HMRC and Companies House for the 2016 year show zero everything. Zero assets, zero cash in the bank etc. You can view these 1st November 2015 to 31st October 2016 accounts yourself here >

On page two for the filing for the 15/16 year the director confirms that in late 2015 “we saw the launch of the Clean Water Campaign – a campaign to rally the support and resources and build the partnerships necessary to ensure young people and their families in developing countries have access to clean drinking water” and so there is no misunderstanding that: oh the donations were put thro XYZ company instead. This is the company and these are the accounts that were filed for this period.

No Follow Up

Furthermore since the Football 4 Water charity events ended in September / October 2016 I nor any former Lighthouse International Group mentees that I know of or our friends who joined our 5 aside football team received any follow up as what happened to the money, no message from the charity or families who received the many thousands of pounds thanking those who took part.

You may well think that any charity would be daft not to make a big deal of what they raised, thank those who took part so that it encourages them to do so again when a new campaign launches but as the Lighthouse Kidz website shows (here >) whilst there is reference to one Football 4 Water event, in line with the accounts there is nothing showing the money was declared or passed on.

Lighthouse Kids

In addition to the questions relating to the 2015 to 2016 period. Do have a look at the other sets of annual accounts starting 2013 through to October 2020 (the last set filled). As you can see each and every year the books say £0 assets and £0 liabilities.

This is in stark contract to the ongoing articles posted by Lighthouse in reference to the community interest company being around since 2013 and all of the fine work they’ve done to mentor, protect and take care of children in that time.

The above assertion taking from the Lighthouse Kidz website is technically true in that the company was setup or started I guess in October 2013 but as mentioned based on the accounts filed with HMRC and Companies House (again here >) it has just sat their dormant for almost 9 years now.

Other “Dormant Accounts”

Whilst I cannot comment on the accuracy of the information someone who claimed to have dug into Lighthouse International Group CEO Paul Waughs’ past in South Africa stated he found…

3 failed companies, Coastal Promotions, Success Media and PSW Consulting, but as per UK all struck off or shutdown for record keeping violations and zero $$ returns.” You can read the full post here >

Not Actually a Social Enterprise UK Member

Up until the middle of 2021 the Lighthouse Kidz website included logo of “Social Enterprise UK” and thus claimed to be a member. Someone contacted Social Enterprise UK and stated that Lighthouse Kidz was not a member and that they would contact to have them remove it’s logo and any assertion they were associated with the organisation. The logo and reference swiftly disappeared.

Supporting Children Approach

The last thing I will say about the Lighthouse Kidz is that the Lighthouse International Group makes no bones about it’s assertion that  there is a “lot of narcissism in families” and that many of the mentors at LIG have had pushback from their own parents of being involved with the LIG business.

Some parents, siblings and others of mentors refer to LIG as a “cult” with others considering that for many years Lighthouse head mentor Paul Waugh has “brainwashed” them. Video here >

It’s also their belief as confirmed by this video (here >) that “most people think its normal that you live your life through your child and put your lifes pressures where you didnt succeed on your child” and that a lot of a child’s issues are due to the parents. However do watch that video in full for context.

Therefore if you have a child and are considering getting them involved with Lighthouse Kidz you should be prepared to be advised that you may need to swallow a few bitter pills with it quite likely that your mental health and/or level of emotional intelligence is at least some of the reason for their short comings. Once again please see the video above for their other beliefs.

They re-affirm this point in page 2 of the accounts filed for the period ending 31st October 2020 (found here >) where they have to explain to the authorities what they’ve been up to. It states…

If you read the start of the second paragraph it implies that the said “Clean Water Campaign” launched in 2016 is still being “developed” but as explained earlier. I have many doubts about that.