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“Rattle your tins”, says Charities’ Minister

06 November 2009

Charities and voluntary sector minister Angela Smith has hit out at unfair restrictions for charity collectors, after incidents of Poppy collectors being barred from rattling their tins in their local communities.

Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector, said:

“Poppy collections are not annoying – they are raising money for people who have served their country. There is no greater cause.

“Stopping people shaking tins for charities, such as in aid of the Royal British Legion, is absurd and wrong. I am determined to send a very strong message – every reasonable charity collector in Britain should be free to rattle their tins.

“Volunteer street collectors all work for free, in their local communities, for thousands of charities across the UK. They should be celebrated not condemned.”

Most local authorities adopt rules which follow a model suggested by the Cabinet Office. The model requires street collectors not to collect in a manner which is not likely to inconvenience or annoy any person. The model rules do not include a specific ban on shaking of tins.

Changes to the existing regulation were made by the Charities Act 2006.  The Government is currently reviewing the legislation with the aim of bringing in a simpler framework for charity collections in public places.

Robert Lee, Head of Media and Campaigns at the Royal British Legion, said:

"We appreciate the clarification on this question and this clear expression of support from the minister. As ever, we would encourage everyone to give as generously as possible to help us make our target of £31 million for this year's Poppy Appeal.  For more information, please go to [External website]."

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