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. . . You need to act quickly - see the hands-on guide below
Taking your unwanted clothes etc to a charity shop raises around 50 times more money for charity compared with giving your clothes to a typical
Do you want your item of clothing to raise only 5 pence for charity - or over £2.50 . . . ?
Worse still, around 50% of house-to-house collections are misleading/bogus/illegal.
... And fewer than 1 in 10,000 (=0.01%) illegal collections is prosecuted.
... And up to 10% of filled bags are stolen before the house-to-house collector arrives.
With CDs and DVDs, around 200 times more money is raised for charity by charity shops compared with typical house-to-house collections (10 cased CDs weigh 1 kilogram) :
A house-to-house collector gives only a half-penny (0.5p) per CD to the charity !
A charity shop makes almost £1 profit (=net proceeds) per donated CD or DVD
With jewellery, over 1,000 times more money (per item) is raised for charity by charity shops compared with typical (royalty-per-tonne) house-to-house collections.
There are over 9,000 charity shops in the UK - including :
If you can't take your donated goods to a charity shop, some shops are happy to collect them from your home - eg British Heart Foundation (BHF)
26 Sept 2011: 'Charity sounds alarm over 'scam' drop-off boxes'
Article on CBC News Canada website - on clothing banks disguised as 'charitable'
30 Jan 2012: 'Clothing donation bins spark turf war in Ontario'
'Much of the money does not go to charity' - good article on CBC News Canada website
20 Feb 2012: 'Children's Aid Foundation' (of Teesside) - charity removed from the register of the Charity Commission
March 2012+: Beware - New collection scam (Worcestershire/Glos area) :
See new page: 'Gloucestershire and Worcestershire Air Ambulance' scam
- there's no charity with this name - the collections are fraudulent
1 April 2012: Consumer Direct was abolished (website and telephone helpline).
It was replaced by 'Citizens Advice consumer service' www.adviceguide.org.uk
17 Oct 2012: The government's Directgov and Business Link portal websites were abolished. They were replaced by GOV.UK www.gov.uk
Darlington Council (Licensing Dept) adds our CharityBags' How-to-tell-if-it's-genuine' Charity Checklist to their website (as a 4-page PDF file)
Salford City Council (Licensing Dept) uses 1,084 words (verbatim) from CharityBags website in their Report [for Councillors] on House-to-House collections Word .docx file
16 Jan 2013: 'The Drops of Help Ltd' (TDOH):
A clothing collection company run by a Lithuanian couple in Beckton, East London.
1. Compulsory liquidation of the company - by 'Company Investigations' (BIS).
"... a fake 'charity' that conned Kent residents, has been forced to close down"
2. Both people were prosecuted by Kent County Council Trading Standards.
27 March 2013: Sparco Ltd / Darius Kaminskas - clothing collector (Bristol) - jailed
03 April 2013: Adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Not upheld
Clothing bags from 'Clothing Collection Team Ltd' (a Scottish co) - a controversial verdict.
(In England & Wales, we feel they may have needed a H2H charitable collection licence.)
07 May 2013: VeritasCare Ltd (clothing collector, London SW4 6DA) - company dissolved
June '13: 'Charity watchdog's 'astounding' failure to detect tax avoidance condemned'
- just £55,000 of the Cup Trust's £176 million income went to charitable causes
04 June 2013: "Charity Commission may not be 'fit for purpose', MPs say" BBC News
06 June 2013: 'The role of the Charity Commission and "public benefit": Post-legislative scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006 234-page Report by the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PDF file) - sections on clothing collections (and NEOs)
12 June 2013: Adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) - verdict:
charity bags from GT Recycling Initiatives Ltd (for "Kids 'n' Cancer UK") were misleading
01 July 2013: Charity fraudster jailed for 3¾ years - Harris Polak stole over £213,000
02 July 2013: "Turning brass to muck? A small scale exploration of charities' use of charity bags collections" Paper by Dr Clive Sealey (lecturer, University of Worcester)
An 18-page PDF document (with 10 references to www.CharityBags.org.uk)
08 July 2013: Fake bags (Cancer Relief UK) on 'Fake Britain' BBC TV show (s4 ep5)
Expanded/updated page: List of prosecutions of collectors - including Caerphilly, East Northants, Kirklees, Bristol, Kent TSD
Article: Fake collection leaflets, bags and impersonation
Updated page Misuse of ".org.uk" web addresses (domain names)
New article: Company information
List of organisations and resources (can be sorted)
- 365+ annotated entries - including websites, statistics, laws, articles, reports, key facts.
- new sections on Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
- the list (a table) can be sorted A-Z - or by subject (classified), and can be filtered.
Updated page: Councils' online diaries of collection licences - eg Bassetlaw Council, Bedford, Blackpool, Brentwood, Broadland, Corby, Daventry, Doncaster, East Northants, Elmbridge, Erewash, Forest of Dean, Guildford, Harrogate, Kettering, Mid Devon, New Forest, Runnymede, Selby, South Derbyshire, Southampton, Tandridge (Surrey), Three Rivers (Herts), Vale of Glamorgan, Warwick, Wellingborough, West Lancs, Wigan Councils; Metropolitan Police (London)
Expanded the A-Z List of clothing collectors page (now 270 entries)
- added new collectors - eg VeritasCare Ltd, JT Textiles Ltd, Sunrise Dreams Ltd, Nooria Mission, Last Hope Ltd, DR Bags Company
Prosecutions of house-to-house collectors page:
Added more prosecutions done by NW Leics Council and Caerphilly Council (S Wales)
Added an 'at-a-glance' summary list of prosecutions (a 6-column table)
Added a new section: "Other interceptions of collectors" (eg Worcester, Tandridge)
Added a new section on scam collection companies which have been closed down
Councils' registers of licences page: Revised and expanded the page;
- added the registers of Ashford, Portsmouth, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks councils
Page: Statistics - a handy table of over 250 facts and figures on collections
New page on Clothing banks
. . . See the WHAT'S NEW page for details
“Putting their diaries of collection licences on their websites is the single, most effective thing that councils can do to reduce the problem of misleading/bogus collections - so that genuine charities raise more money. It's extremely cost-effective.”
19 Oct 2011: ASA upheld a complaint about a leaflet from E&N Textiles Ltd (AAS)
2 Nov 2011: High Court hearing (London) to wind up :
* Air Ambulance Support Community Interest Company (CIC) =AASCIC
* St Anthony Repatriation Ltd (formerly "Air Ambulance Service" =AAS )
* St Anthony (Trading Co) Ltd (formerly Air Ambulance Service (Trading Co) Ltd)
All three companies were wound up (=closed down).
See Government press release (by 'Company Investigations' of the Insolvency Service)
So ANY collections purporting to be by these companies are now ILLEGAL.
2 Nov 2011: Magistrates Court hearing: Kirklees Council's prosecution of unlicensed charitable collectors (Air Ambulance Support CIC =AASCIC) using the 1939 Act.
Adjourned until 30 Dec 2011, then to 2012
2 March 2012: Convicted (in their absence) - fined £1,000 with £300 costs
2 Dec 2011: Bracknell Magistrates Court (Berks) The owner of "Air Ambulance Service", pleaded guilty to 9 offences (Consumer Protection Regulations 2008 =the CPRs)
20 Feb 2012: Illegal collection in Rotherham (Yorkshire) by 'Air Ambulance Service'/E&N
March 2012+: "Gloucestershire & Worcestershire Air Ambulance" scam - and see above
22 May 2012: Air Ambulance Recycling Ltd and E&N Textiles Ltd were wound up (=closed down) by the government in the High Court, London
See also these websites :
When you receive a suspicious "charity" clothing collection leaflet or bag, look at it carefully and refer to :
A-Z list of collectors A-Z selection of collectors Law on collections
How to tell: is the leaflet 'genuine'? Fake collection leaflets
If you think it's bogus and/or unlicensed, immediately telephone (or visit) the "authorities" (the regulators) :
Cover of 1939 Act
hover to ENLARGE
If it's bogus, try to persuade these authorities (especially council licensing) to use their powers to intercept the bag collectors (with police help) in your area on the collection day (usually a couple of days later) :
Above: Bogus leaflet
Some councils (eg NW Leicestershire Council) have successfully prosecuted unlicensed collectors just for delivering the leaflets or bags (='promoting' a collection) - using the 1939 Act.
You may need to give the authorities a copy of the leaflet or bag - you can send them images of it using (a) a computer scanner and email, or
(b) a camera on a mobile phone or tablet.
If you have the time, get your friends and neighbours involved, and contact your local councillors and Neighbourhood Watch. Also you can assist the authorities on the day of the collection (so long as you act responsibly and cautiously).
Spread the word via social media - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, forums, blogs and the like.
Bogus collectors rely on ignorance, apathy, delay and lack of action. Usually they collect the filled bags only two or three days after delivering their leaflets or bags. The collectors expect people to take a while to contact the regulators (the council, police etc) - and they assume the regulators will be slow to react. Prove them wrong
A word of caution - leaflets which appear to be bogus may be genuine after all - and vice-versa (eg fakes). Also, if you do want the collectors caught, you don't want to alert them to the possibility they'll be stopped.
If the collector is a dissolved company, this is an additional offence
- see the A-Z list of collectors page - eg RA & B Services Ltd, Rutex Ltd, W & W Help Ltd.
After the collection day, you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) if you think the leaflet or bag was misleading. See the A-Z list of collectors for over 30 examples of successful complaints.
Theft of bags: If you see anyone taking filled bags before the official collector arrives, note details (eg vehicle registration number and description) and ring the police immediately. Guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) states that it's theft.
|Each year in the UK, between £15 and 50 million income is lost by
genuine charities because of
CharityBags campaigns to reduce this problem . . .
|Raise 10 pence or £3?
Two charity clothing collections - one raised £3 a bag for charity ... the other donated only 10 pence to charity for the SAME bag of clothes
|If you receive a door-to-door clothing collection leaflet - who should you contact to check it out? - your local council licensing dept? trading standards? police? Charity Commission? ASA? - See the Regulators page|
M&S coats now only £7 ... Latest novels 80% off ... CDs and DVDs only £1.99
- Pick up a bargain in a charity shop - and help raise money for good causes. There are now over 9,000 charity shops in the UK
|All change! - 2006 saw the start of major changes in charity law ... including the rules for licensing of charity collections (which date back to 1916 and 1939)|
|Law - All charitable clothing collections need a licence from the local council (or approval from the Cabinet Office) - check out the rules in the House to House Collections Act 1939||Choices - "I've got some unwanted clothes etc - Should I give them to house-to-house clothing collections or take them to a recycling centre or take them to a charity shop?"||The Charity Commission's report on door-to-door clothing collections reveals a disturbing picture of many commercial clothing collectors misleading the public|
is worthwhile, but donating your unwanted goods to a charity shop for
||Bogus charity collectors fined - an unlicensed house-to-house clothing collection in Northamptonshire led to a prosecution by the district council licensing department||
|Bogus charity clothing collections by 'Gotham' were featured on BBC1 TV's Watchdog programme - the leaflets alleged the goods went to charity shops in Lithuania||The Charity Commission's Register lists 180,000 charities in England and Wales - such as Oxfam, RSPCA, Age UK, Salvation Army, NSPCC, Scope, The Children's Society, Cancer Research, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, BHF||A-ZThe A-Z list of clothing collectors includes 30 which have been the subject of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) - misleading leaflets and bags|
|See the DROP-DOWN MENUS (top of most pages) for a full list of the pages on our website||We welcome your comments - see contact us|
Search every word on the CharityBags site using the search box at the bottom of most pages
|See List of organisations and resources - with abbreviations, links and useful printed reference sources. You can sort it
|Below: misleading clothing collection leaflet (Rutex Ltd)
HOVER TO ENLARGE . . .
|The Scams and cons page - offers advice on how to avoid being ripped off - including links to Consumer Direct's "Watch out!" scams guide and SafeFromScams.co.uk|
|Textile recycling is a sizeable industry in the UK. The value of second-hand clothes has risen dramatically - to over £1,000 per tonne. Most are exported (especially to Eastern Europe and Africa). But far more money would be raised for charities if the clothes went to charity shops . . .||Around 500 UK charity shops accept mains-powered electrical goods, testing them before sale - such as computers, TVs, hifi, radios and gadgets. Some even take fridges & cookers . . .|
|'A selection of collectors A-Z' :
. . . This page has over 60 images of collection leaflets and bags - plus comments
||?HOW TO TELL - is a clothing collection leaflet or bag genuine? - a checklist||Cardiff Council prosecuted E&C Export Ltd for carrying out a charitable clothes collection without a licence, using the 'House to House Collections Act 1939'|
Parliament and politicians :
At last, MPs are talking tough about bogus 'charitable' clothing collections
|Licensing of collections under the 1939 Act :
Monitoring and enforcement are crucial. But fewer than 1 in 10,000 (!) illegal clothing collections is prosecuted . . .
|A brief history of clothing collections - a timeline : This page gives key events and dates - eg new laws, TV and radio programmes|
|Clothing collections really are a matter of "life and death" - it's now thought that people may have died unnecessarily or sustained avoidable permanent injuries - because of the nationwide Air Ambulance scams in 2010 & 2011 - they stole £250,000++ from hard-pressed genuine charities such as Midlands Air Ambulance . . .||
|In memory of V who died of cancer in 2011
General, related and fringe topics
Government (central and local) - a brief guide - Parliament, Whitehall, local councils . . .
Freedom of information (FoI) and open government (and data protection)
Campaigns and campaigning by charities / not-for-profits - changing attitudes/behaviour
Charities and honesty - eg efficiency, ethics, integrity
Use (and misuse) of ".org.uk" web addresses - eg by commercial clothing collectors
Companies and company information - how to research clothing collection companies . . .
Scams, cons etc - and how to avoid them - trading standards, 'Action Fraud' . . .
Statistics - a handy table of over 250 facts and figures on collections and related matters
Introduction to statistics - sources, accuracy, presentation . . .
our email address :
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