LETTER: Chuggers give charity a bad name

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I’VE been a volunteer charity worker for many years and I’m disgusted by the infestation of chuggers (charity muggers) who have taken over Burnley town centre.

These are the people who stop you in the street to talk you into giving a couple of pounds a month to a charity.

I’m told (by a chugger) there are 10,000 of them on our streets, all being paid a wage plus expenses to nag and embarrass pedestrians into signing up. If people knew that the first £130 a donor gives goes straight to the chuggers, would they give so readily?

Chuggers exploit the good and caring image of charities to syphon off millions from kind-hearted and unquestioning donors to pay for an ugly parasitic industry which sours every principle of charity.

Charities and the Government should be doing a lot more to encourage volunteers rather than chuggers. It is an intrusive, annoying and even aggressive way of forcing people to give money to charity.

In my opinion it’s giving charities and charity workers a bad name. It’s become increasingly difficult for volunteers like me to collect on the street when chuggers are stood next to us every day – each of them on a wage and us doing it just because we’re passionate about the cause. When I made this point to a chugger who approached me in Burnley centre last week he shouted at me and called me an idiot. I’ve written a complaint about this to the council. If local councils and/or the Government changed the law so chuggers can’t approach you, it would instantly get rid of chugging.

MR PETER QUINN

ST JAMES’S STREET, BURNLEY