Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Doorstep Collection Warning

Local MP Paul Burstow has visited the British Heart Foundation Shop (BHF) in Worcester Park to highlight the issue of ‘commercial’ doorstep collections of clothings and second-hand goods.

The MP urged people in his consituency of Sutton and Cheam to be vigilant when making doorstep donations of second-hand goods because they could be lining the pockets of third party organisations working for profit, with very little of the proceeds going to charities.

Mr Burstow is supporting the BHF’s nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the effect these commercial doorstep collections are having. The BHF has seen a 25% drop in household collections due to this commercial activity which will cost them a staggering £3 million in the next year – money which could be spent in the fight against heart disease.

Commenting, Mr. Burstow said, “Companies working for commercial gain are a huge problem for charities. I’d like to highlight that 100% of the profits made from donations to the BHF in Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park stay with the charity and help them continue their lifesaving work, whereas as little as 5% can go to a charity via a commercial collection. It’s only right that householders are given clear information from collectors about where the proceeds of their goods are going, so they can make an informed choice.”
The scourge of the commercial doorstep collections is also a favourite subject of fellow Worcester Park blogger  'The Brinkster' (check out his blog for details on recent commercial collection goings on in Worcester Park)
The BHF carries out doorstep collections using clearly identified vans and drivers. Their advice to householders:

· Take your donations directly into your local charity shop or donate to a charity that organises its own collections

· Ask the collector for identification – sometimes donations are stolen from doorsteps before official collectors get there

· Check collection bags and leaflets for clear information about how much of the proceeds from your goods go to that charity

More information is available at bhf.org.uk/rightbag