Age Concern shop hands back £1,200 to accidental donor

Age Concern East Cheshire has bowed to pressure and returned £1,200 cash to a man who mistakenly handed it in to its Macclesfield charity shop.

The charity suffered adverse publicity last week when Michael Parks criticised the charity for failing to return the money.

He said the cash was intended to pay a tradesman but, he had forgotten to remove it from a jacket he donated to the store.

Age Concern East Cheshire consulted lawyers and refused initially to return the money, claiming it now legally belonged to the charity. But last week, following a trustees' meeting, it relented.

The charity did, however, dispute the sum. Parks claimed he'd handed over £1,400, but the shop said it was £1,200 and returned that amount.

It also said the man took eight weeks to claim the money back. "Staff were reluctant to hand over the money until they were sure he was the rightful owner," said Madelyn Bridge, chief executive of Age Concern East Cheshire.

- Tesco has chosen Age Concern as its charity of the year for 2005. It aims to raise £2m. The supermarket chain raised £2.5m for Barnardo's in 2003.

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