This month, Sheffield Trading Standards announced a “Give with Care” campaign against imposter charity collectors.
The Association of Charity Shops estimates that between £2.5 and £3 million is lost to charities through theft and people mistakenly giving unwanted clothing to commercial companies in the belief that they are giving to charity.
‘Give with Care’ aims to help the generous people who want to give to charity understand what to look for in leaflets and bags that come through their letter box. It will help them to establish if a clothing collection is for charity or not. While clothing companies may be acting legally, their leaflets may be largely indistinguishable from charities, unless people know what to look for. The campaign includes four top tips for spotting a genuine charity clothing collection:
- Does the sack or leaflet say the collection is for a registered charity? If so, what’s the registered charity number? Call 0845 3000 218 or visit the register of charities to check that it’s genuine.
- Does it only give a registered company number? Check that a registered charity is also involved with the collection.
- Is the charity actually named? Be wary of wording that just says ‘families in need’ or ‘sick kids at Christmas’ as this could be an indication that it is not a genuine charity.
- Does the leaflet or bag give a phone number? If not it may mean the collectors don’t want to answer questions.
The ‘Give with Care’ campaign includes thousands of leaflets being distributed to householders across the country with the top tips to help check clothing collection leaflets. Posters will be also displayed in charity shop windows to raise awareness amongst shoppers.
Those wishing to support the campaign download a poster or leaflet and display it prominently.