It's OK to rattle tins for charity, says Angela Smith

Third sector minister defends fundraisers amid reports of objections by local councils

Restricting charity collectors from rattling their tins is "absurd and wrong", according to Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector.  

Smith's comments came after reports in the Daily Mail that local authorities had prevented Royal British Legion poppy appeal collectors from rattling their tins because it infringed rules on harassment.

Last Christmas, the Salvation Army advised its collectors not to shake their tins because it feared it could contravene council laws on street collections.

"Stopping people shaking tins for charities, such as those in aid of the Royal British Legion, is absurd and wrong," she said. "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."

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said he was delighted Smith had acted "quickly and decisively to bring a healthy dose of common sense to this issue".

He added: "We constantly fail to understand antipathy towards fundraising. Allowing a donor to do something extraordinary and help others through giving is among the most worthwhile forms of volunteering."

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."

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