A CHARITY fears its fundraising efforts are being damaged by totally unfounded' rumours.

Julia's House Dorset children's hospice replaced Park Engineering on the front of Weymouth Football Club's shirts in July as part of a free sponsorship deal aimed at raising the profile of both parties.

But Julia's House has received calls from people concerned that they are paying for the shirt sponsorship, telling the charity they will not support it if that is the case. This has prompted Julia's House to dispel any rumours and confirm that they are not paying for the publicity.

Development director Mike Bartlett said: "Although such rumours are totally unfounded they have started to affect the charity's fundraising efforts, particularly in the Weymouth area.

"It is unfortunate that a small minority of people have mistakenly adopted the view that Julia's House paid towards the shirt sponsorship.

"The charity is extremely cautious with expenditure and does not pay for any advertising or sponsorship.

"I would like to categorically state that Julia's House has not paid a penny to Weymouth FC."

Julia's House and the football club have worked together since 2006.

Mr Bartlett added: "The relationship is based on the generosity of Weymouth FC as they are raising income for Julia's House and the football club from third party sponsors.

"This allows associate sponsors to contribute to both causes in a win-win scenario."

Under the partnership Julia's House receives the free shirt sponsorship and half of the proceeds from hospitality packages, advertising boards and programme adverts sold by the football club.

Terras' chairman Malcolm Curtis joined Julia's House in confirming that the charity does not pay for the shirt sponsorship.

He said: "It's really disappointing if anyone has the wrong impression because we would like to think that we are raising Julia's House's profile and the club's. I've had so many people say that it's great because they didn't know about Julia's House before.

"The partnership is great for Weymouth Football Club and great for Julia's House."

Julia's House will also receive a proportion of the proceeds from the Terras' new calendar and their Open 4 Business penalty competitions, which begins at the Wessex Stadium tomorrow.