Hunted down by charity collectors

Charity workers trading on the streets.
Charity workers trading on the streets.

When it comes to supporting charities I like to think I do my bit where I can.

From buying badges and giving to collections to attending fundraising events, I contribute.

Doncaster Free Press reporter Kate Mason.  Picture: Liz Mockler D1594LM

Doncaster Free Press reporter Kate Mason. Picture: Liz Mockler D1594LM

And whenever someone contacts the paper about a charitable pursuit we always do our best to give it some coverage.

But over the last few weeks I’ve started to feel a lot less charitable after being subjected to the hard sell approach.

It seems like you can’t even walk through Doncaster without being stopped by charity collectors, affectionately known as “chuggers”.

I appreciate these people are only doing their job but there’s nothing worse when you’re in a rush.

It used to be that a polite “I’m sorry I’m too busy” was enough to fend them off but now trying to get away from these people is a real mission.

Some go for the guilt trip approach which is mildly irritating but the thing I hate the most is the ones who go for the over the top charm.

From compliments about your outfit to assumptions about what a wonderful, smiley, generous person you are.

I’m glad you think my coat looks nice but I can’t afford to give you £20 a month so save your breath.

After taking to dodging through town like I’m on some sort of covert mission in a bid to avoid them I discovered this week that we are not even safe in our own homes anymore.

After a hectic night I was finally settling down to some TV viewing when there was a knock at the door.

I did the old “who can this be at this time” (it was nearly 9’clock on a school night after all).

It turned out to be two charity collectors quizzing us about if we’d had a nice day before basically asking for our money.

After getting rid of this lot 20 minutes later there was another knock, I couldn’t actually believe it when another set of charity collectors giving us the same spiel.

And if they’re not stopping you in the street, or banging on your door they’re ringing you.

My mum has generously given to several charities over the years and she was stunned to received a call thanking her for her generosity from a charity followed by ‘can you up your donation?’

After donating for decades she was quite rightly on the verge of cancelling the direct debit altogether after the downright cheeky request.

I’m not naming and shaming as the majority of charities seem to be up to the same tricks but this hard sell approach is making me far less likely to part with my hard earned cash.