I attended Earth and Fire at Rufford Abbey at the weekend. This was my first large festival as a solo stall holder for thirty-three years.

There have been changes in the intervening period. Earthenware and porcelain potters who use colour have been provided with a much broader palette of reliable colours than back then and have the expertise to use them to joyous effect. There is also a “monochrome school” whose cleanly crafted work in whites, greys and blacks fits into a contemporary minimalist context. Sculptural ceramics of all types is in robust good health. At the stoneware end of things, wood-firing and salt glaze which were still at the cutting edge when I became semi-dormant in 1983 are tame stuff compared with the long firings in “anagama” beasts of kilns by younger potters. The “useful pots at affordable prices” school is largely, with notable exceptions, in the hands of continental potters, particularly Dutch and German. Their stalls, stacked high with honest pots for cooking, eating and drinking, continue a market tradition going back to the middle ages and before. There was much to enjoy and much to think about.

It was fun meeting other potters. Ceramics/pottery is wonderfully free of the “irony” (and cynicism?) that has been a key element in fine art for several decades. I was even stupid enough to volunteer for the “Potters’ Games”, winning a losers’ medal in the relay and a winners’ in the “Pairs Throwing Challenge” in which Scottish-based potter, John Christie, and I (Welsh-based) made a bowl (one hand each) which we felt to be a “most vigorous contemporary expression of the English countryside” (Bernard Leach). Long live the Union!

Pairs Challenge    My stall Rufford, day 1

Centring the bowl with John Christie                      My Stall

The Kids for Life scam does not seem to be over yet. Long after the Charity Commission told me it was investigating complaints about the “charity” and its printer/fund gatherer Inpress Media, I have heard from other potters and an architect who have been targets of the scam. My advice is refuse to do anything over the telephone; ask for a proper letter. I bet you’ll hear nothing more. If, as happened to one potter, they print your “advertisement” without your agreement and then demand payment, stand firm. They, Andrew Peter Ager and David Parker, are bullies, but will back down, either blaming the other for a “misunderstanding”. What they almost certainly won’t do, unless you are prepared to involve a solicitor, is refund money once it’s been paid.

Always report any approach from these guys to the Charity Commission. There is, by the way, a bona fide Kids for Life in Australia, but they are unlikely to contact British artists!

37 Responses to “Fun and Games in Notts (With a note on “Kids for Life”)”

  1. PB 06. Sep, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    Is there anymore information regarding this?
    I agreed to advertise in their magazine, after been cold called by as very decent sounding man who told me that the magazine would be sent to local hospitals where I live.
    I received a letter within the week saying that the artwork will be with me withing 14 days and I could get a 5% discount if I paid now.
    Something doesn’t really add up as the charity directors seem to be the above mentioned people but also the letter from Inpress is signed by David Parker.

  2. john 08. Sep, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    My partner also got scammed she paid the money got her add in the magazine only to find out most of the other adds do not exist

    • Jason 13. Sep, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      Impress Media’s website looks like the real thing, but is just a “cut and paste” job. The Facebook and Twitter logos are just that; there is no reaction when you move your cursor over them. The only links that work take you in one page further on the site to some photographs. The office seems to have moved from Worcester to London, but I doubt either address means much. The text on the webpage is just a load of clichés. The two “testimonials” are dodgy. The nearest I could find to “Turnbull Imports” was “Sturgis Turnbull Imports” in Maine, USA, while “Textiles 4U” looks like a variation on the name of a company offering GCSE revision tips, whose website was certainly not designed by a company of the calibre Inpress claims to be. I detect the same hand that put together the “Kids for Life” magazine.

  3. James Smith 06. Oct, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Hi there, I have also been targeted by impress media for advertisement in kids for life magazine. They offered to design an advert and email the advert to me for amendments. I gave no details to them, then shortly after I recieved the email I responded by telling them I would not like to go ahead with any advertising. This lead to me receiving a copy of kids for life magazine including an advert, along with an invoice. The other companies inside are all fake and non existent websites. Impress media have today called me asking for payment to which I responded by telling them I am aware this is as a scam and put the phone down.

  4. Stewart Sneddon 20. Apr, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

    Hi All this scam is alive again it seems now in Bedfordshire, I am so glad I have picked up on this after reading all of your comments and prior to parting with any cash, I may say as like some of you guys it seems all real, and worthy, but sadly not, I have emailed “Kids For Life” to make them aware and shall be doing the same to “inpress Media” simply telling them to do one.

    Many thanks all

    Stewart

  5. mark 08. Jun, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

    i received a call about 4 weeks ago from inpress about advertising in the kids for life mag. i mentioned i may be interested and they said they would get the art work done for my ad from my facebook page. they sent me an email of what it would look like,( i hold my hands up and didnt reply,) advertising stuff i didnt do and no mention of what i wanted when i spoke to them. (think his name was mark) ive now received a copy of the mag with my ad which is of no use and an invoice for over £200. as far as im concerned ive never actually agreed to place the ad, and never agreed on the art work. thank god ive come across this thread before handing any money over.

  6. Tara 06. Jul, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

    I also got a call and fell for this. I got the proof yesterday, the quality was awful and wording was terrible. I complained but it made me start to research. So glad I have found this blog. Even though they say I can’t cancel Ive emailed saying you given me two days for ammedments so as you have not printed I am cancelling order. No bank details have been given and you won’t get a penny. Shame on you!
    I’m sure I’ll get emails etc demanding money but did that, I’ve not signed anything. How can they get money from me? Angry with myself for falling for this.

  7. den 10. Jul, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Ive just fell for this in middlesbrough..ive just recieved my KFL booklet with my ad in it . Ive not paid the invoice and obviously dont want to. Ive had calls to pay it. Will they go collection route?

    • Suzanne 02. Aug, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

      I too was cold called very recently by a posh sounding gentleman who said that the Kids for Life magazine would go out to hospitals/doctors surgeries/ fitness places in the area. He also repeated several times that I could take as long as I wanted to pay for the ad. I was quoted a price and I’m pretty sure was told it included the vat. I was sent a proof of my ad quickly which was okay. I soon after received the magazine and invoice asking for the full payment within 14 days. And vat was added onto the price. My husband looked through the magazine and was suspicious. There are hardly and other ads. There are no landline numbers on them. When I went on a few of the websites the page on google came up blank. Impress Media have called several times to speak to me. I have just called them saying I suspect this to be a scam. I have no intention of giving them any money, especially as I have found this blog. CAUTION EVERYONE! How disgusting they are to play on little children’s misfortunes. Some people are so heartless and so greedy. How disappointing!

  8. Melissa garrett 29. Jul, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    I too have been contacted by these. Glad I have found this site as I always had a gut feeling it was scam. I told them before they went to print that I no longer wanted to go ahead and they ignored that email anyway and printed and sent. They’re now chasing payment which as my circumstances have changed, I just don’t have. Please keep updating to keep us and other informed

  9. Melissa garrett 10. Aug, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    I called action fraud and would advise everyone to do so. The more these people are investigated the closer they are to being shut down. Thankfully I haven’t heard anything since I said I didn’t have the money to pay as circumstances had changed but won’t take any rubbish off them if they do

  10. Ollie 17. Aug, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    Hi
    This has happened to me in June a nice man rang me he wouldn’t let me go so I said design it then I’ll decide after did not have to pay for months etc.
    Next thing I no there a magazine sent to me with a crap ad in it and I think four in total just with mobile numbers. My wife looked in to the charity and found this blog so we have not paid it but they keep ringing us told them I’m not paying and put the phone down. What shall I do to stop them any advice?? Thanks

    • Jason 17. Aug, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

      Yes, I’m afraid these guys are so “nice” that one decent business at least has “proudly” announced its support for Kids for Life on its webpage. They are tricksters, running a now common scam, that finds small businesses on the internet and targets them for an “affordable” advertisement in a “widely distributed” (like heck) magazine, whose profits go to support children suffering from cancer and their families.

      For an example of a similar scheme (quite possibly run by the same guys) look up NCPA (National Crime Prevention Agency (or Association)). With a logo based on “Cluedo”, photos of guys in handcuffs, and articles about our “brave and beautiful” police horses, they aim to “drive crime out of business”. They’ll give you an advertisement at the same sort of rate as KFL.

      Don’t pay and don’t answer the calls from these crooks.

  11. Claire 09. Sep, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    I’ve had a call today from the ‘nicely spoken man’. I guessed it was a scam and told him I would make a decision over the phone and asked for a number to call him back on, to which he gave me a mobile number. A quick Google revealed these threads. I’ve already blocked their number but I’m sure I’ll get an invoice in the post which I shall of course ignore!

  12. Rob 03. Nov, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    I too have had kids for life on the phone, I was suspicious of them targeting new business as he put it. He won’t take no for an answer.
    They try and commit you saying you are entering a contract etc.
    I then received the invoice from inpress media for a completely different amount to what the bloke said on the phone, I emailed inpress and made it clear I am canceling if you look at the small print on the back you have 7 days to do so to which they sent the reply ok ignore any further correspondence.
    This was before I found this site so I’m glad my instinct kicked in and safe to say they won’t be getting any money.

  13. Kyle howie 15. Nov, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

    I got suckered as well. I received the email confirmation of the add today, found this thread and have just emailed saying i resend my permission and any further contact from them will be met with legal action. I am furious that scum would try using sick kids as a means to make money.

  14. David 12. Dec, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    yeh just got sent the KFL magazine its not even made well and the paper with the “ads” on feels cheap compared to the other pages, how come they’re still able to function with a website and a charity number? its ridiculous they’re scamming lots of people, i’m just ignoring them.

  15. Joanne 16. Mar, 2017 at 10:08 pm #

    Got call yesterday by kids for life very nice sounding man. Then someone phoned after him to confirm details. Both mobile numbers then today get details emailed from impress design ltd. Alarm bells ringing. Checked companies out separately nothing seemed to come up of concern. Googled companies names together and got here. Won’t be doing any advertising with them and find it terrible how these scams exist.

    • Martin 21. Mar, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

      Hi joanne i got a call from kids 4 life start of last year in 2016 , long atory short i went ahead with the magazone it got sent out . Invoices got sent . Impress media rang me final demand warnings pay now etc . Now only just yesterday after about a year . Sum1 called me off a monile number a man who said hes from a debt recovery team .. called C&H group . Adress 83 ducie street manchester .. but as i google earthed it it brought up a shop i rang it and they saod this is the 8th phone about this company they havnt seen are heard of .. and when i went on kids 4 life website and clicked on contact us there address is in ducie street right next door to C&H group .. there trying to get 399.00 pound off me threatening me with cou ty court etc .. im really glad ive seen this page now its a wieght lifted off my shoulders

  16. Claire Treves 03. Sep, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

    I found your blogs about ‘Kids for Life’ while Googling Impress Ltd as they approached my builder husband by phone this week (having apparently obtained his details via his FB business page) and then sent him an email invoice for £374.00! Alarm bells started ringing on the basis of their name being ‘IMpress’ but their email address being ‘INpress’ (I’ve had a lot of hoax emails purporting to be from places like PayPal and HMRC lately so it’s one of the first things I check!) and was horrified to see how long this scam has been going on!

    They appear to have a legit company (registered with Companies House), a legit website and a legit Charity Number which is scary! I will indeed report them to the Charity Commission but I do worry about other people being scammed so I’ll also be spreading the word via social media asap!!!!

    • Aaron 02. Oct, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      I to have also received a £300 payment for something that I have not actually signed for or agreed to. I was told by the polite gentalman that they will use my website logo and design me an advert. When the kids for life book come the advert was not designed by a professional at all. My company logo was not used or the correct email address or contact number. Now they want payment…? Should I seek legal advice before I hand over £300 to them. I’ve also asked for a list of where the books are distributed as I would like proof. I have heard nothing back other then payment reminders. The last payment letter I received said they will add legal fees onto it (please see our terms and conditons) I can not find any T&Cs anywhere…

      • Jason 11. Oct, 2017 at 8:50 am #

        Don’t pay them. See my reply to Warwick Hewson regarding their use of a “virtual mailbox” at the same address for both Inpress Media and the C&H debt collection agency. The use of different “phone numbers for every call is a common trick (apparently). Andrew Peter Ager’s address is real enough, but that’s about it. Take legal advice if you are anxious, but it really isn’t worth paying for it, as these crooks don’t have a leg to stand on. Put the ‘phone down if they call. Ignore their letters.

  17. Warwick Hewson 11. Oct, 2017 at 6:02 am #

    Also targeted by this dreadful scam.
    When I started to make enquiries to make sure it stacked up the chap did an about turn and said they would not be needing my business.
    He had up to that point been ridiculously flattering and pushed the charity aspect hard.
    Shocking

    • Jason 11. Oct, 2017 at 8:19 am #

      Hi Warwick, and all other victims. I have just visited google maps and, using the satellite option, made a virtual visit to 83, Dulcie Street, Manchester, a recently given address for both Inpress Media and the C&H Group of debt collectors. It is a scruffy little place called “CITY ADDRESS” it offers “Mailbox rental” and “Virtual Mailing Addresses”. Worth a look if you need convincing that these guys are shabby little crooks.

      • Warwick hewson 11. Oct, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

        Thanks – worth calling the charity commission if you have handed over any money and they will investigate the fraud
        0800 023 2101

  18. Bernadette 07. Nov, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    Hi,
    I’m really glad I found this thread. I had the same problem. I did not agreed on this, they went ahead anyway and sent me an invoice of £170. This guy called me last week, really rude, and threatened me with “further actions”. It is a disgrace

  19. Sarah Turner 14. Nov, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    I am so upset, I paid them last year and was sucked in to doing it again by a really nice guy who told me how much money I had helped them raise for sick children. I was happy to donate even though (not surprisingly) I gained no business from the advert!
    I have been receiving calls to pay for my latest advert. Feeling pretty silly right now!.
    I have replied with an email telling them I won’t be paying and to stop calling me.

    • Jason 14. Nov, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

      Hi Sarah,
      Don’t feel too bad about your initial response, which was to support what sounded like a worthy charity. Presumably there are loads of people out there who did so and still don’t know they were scammed (I came across an estate agent in Devon who actually proclaimed on his website that he was “proud” to be supporting KFL). In my case it was KFL’s attempt to get a second subscription only three months after my first that confirmed my suspicion that I had been had. At least they seem to have given you a year(?) before going for you a second time!
      No one else has mentioned emailing Inpress Media or KFL. I don’t think I was aware of ever having an email address for them. What address did you use? It might be helpful to other victims to know it.

      • Sarah 24. Nov, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

        Here is the email address. images@inpresspublications.com
        I’ve only had a response telling me my email has been sent to the relevant department. Nothing else….yet.
        I may have had phone calls. I’ve stopped answering ones I don’t know. Especially ones from Liverpool or Manchester.

  20. Malik 28. Nov, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi everyone!

    I have just spoke to ”Kids for Life” on 0800 772 3376 and they confirmed that Impress Designs are there partners for few year. So I do not think it is a scam.

    If you receive a cold call on behalf of any charity its best to confirm with the charity itself.

    Hope that clears the confusion.

    Best wishes

    • Jason 28. Nov, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

      Hi Malik,
      I am approving your comment for this page, but I cannot agree with you that this is not a scam. Just use Google Maps satellite or Google Earth to make a virtual visit to the last stated address of Inpress Media at 83 Dulcie Street, Manchester, and you’ll see that it is a shabby little “shop” that rents itself out as a “virtual address” for dodgy businesses. C and H Debt collectors claim to be at the same address (and apparently employ the same secretary!) and Martin (see below) says Kids for Life itself was giving Dulcie St as its address. Compare what you see with the webpage for Inpress Media (if it’s still there). The glossy pictures of young designers in a smart office have just been pasted in (probably from Google Images or a similar source) and bear no relationship to the reality. As I said in an earlier post, David Parker, claiming to be the director of Inpress (aka Impress) Media told me over the phone three years ago that his company only worked for KFL, which is not what his website claimed last time I looked!

      I hope you’ve not given them any money. Thanks for the phone number which some other victims might find handy (if it works again…)

      Best wishes

  21. Jessica 20. Dec, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

    I guess they were found out in England and decided to move on to Northern Ireland. I was cold called by a woman claiming to work for Kids for Life saying that they were raising money for sick children for Christmas. She said last year they raised nearly 100,000£ for Belfast hospitals and gave her story. I said I would like to help but needed to speak to my partner and she pressured me into giving a verbal agreement. Ten minutes later a different girl called speaking very quickly making me think I had agreed to paying them 150£ for an ad in a magazine. I called the original woman back the next day to say I couldn’t afford to give that amount and it went straight to a pay as you go Giff Gaff mailbox. I looked up the “charity” and found out it was based in Manchester and even though it is registered they only made 5,000£ last year meaning the woman was lying. Once the fake Inpress emails started coming in I knew the gig was fake. Shame on all of these people for scamming small businesses at Christmas and using sick children to do it. There’s a special place for these people….

    • Jason 20. Dec, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

      Hi Jessica,
      Glad you got out in time. You can now expect some pestering calls threatening legal action, probably from “C&H Debt Collectors”. They’re just another scabby little bunch “working” from the same Manchester address. The whole lot is probably run by a tiny group of crooks. There was a fake “refugee charity” last year that had their stamp too.

  22. Sam 16. Feb, 2018 at 4:43 pm #

    Sam.
    They are currently pestering me for money. I’m soo glad I read these comments, thank you! The only thing I’m a bit worried about is they sent me an email with a voice recording where I agreed to it! I was just trying to get them off the phone and thought I would need to sign something before paying anything?? Does anyone know if the audio recording is legally binding?

  23. John 01. May, 2018 at 5:09 pm #

    Do we know where these people are calling from?

    • Jason 02. Oct, 2018 at 6:39 am #

      The “office” is a grotty little shop at the corner of Ducie Street and Great Ancoates in Manchester. It acts as a “virtual address” for a load of bogus charities and debt collection agencies. Whether any of the calls actually come from there I don’t know. I think some must as one corespondent, at least, has reported phoning the address (and was surprised to find the same “secretary” serving two different companies). There is some system that allows calls to appear to come from different numbers. The first call to me (2014?) appeared to come from the local exchange in this remote part of Wales!

  24. Phil 05. May, 2018 at 11:50 pm #

    Watch out for (kids for life) cancer charity aka impress designs ltd targeting small businesses on Facebook asking to sign up on a magazine for adds is a scam .. called 2 days ago a guy then the next day a women both from mobile which I thought strange for a company so just checked Google site error also then found this thread in time thx