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I issued the following press release on 20.12.2005

Don’t be conned when it comes to new year’s resolutions says Lynne Jones MP

The New Year means New Year’s resolutions and where better to start than by getting rid of your 2006 fashion mistakes and unwanted Christmas presents for charity?  But Lynne Jones, MP for Selly Oak today warns local householders to make sure their good intentions aren’t exploited by bogus charity clothing collectors.

While many of the leaflets pushed through our doors asking for unwanted clothes give a strong impression they are benefiting the poor and needy, many of them are delivered by businesses who sell our donations and pocket the proceeds themselves.

Lynne Jones MP offers people in Selly Oak these tips from the Charity Commission to sort the bogus from the benevolent:

Does the leaflet say the collection is for a registered charity:  If so, what’s the registered charity number – call 0845 3000 218 or visit the online register of charities at to check that it’s genuine.

Does it only have a registered company number?  This just means that the organisation is registered with companies House as a business, not that it’s a charity.

Be suspicious of wording like ‘poor families in Eastern Europe/the Third World’ – what’s the name of the charity?

Does the leaflet give an address and a landline?  Mobile phone numbers or none at all can be a sign the organisation doesn’t want to answer questions.

Lynne Jones MP said,

“Bogus clothing collectors fool the public and take money from legitimate charities.  If you only make one resolution this year, make it carrying out these few simple checks next time a clothing leaflet drops through your letterbox.  That way we can sort out the real charities from businesses just out to make a quick buck out of our generosity, and stop charities losing out.

If in doubt, take your donations straight to your local charity shop.”


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