Pensioner fed up of charity scams

Pensioner Jimmy Wearne is fed up with the huge number of plastic charity collection sacks delivered to his home - and wants organisations to spend their donations more wisely.

TRIMLEY: Pensioner Jimmy Wearne is fed up with the huge number of plastic charity collection sacks delivered to his home - and wants organisations to spend their donations more wisely.

But trading standards officers say while many of the bags are from genuine good causes, some are from commercial organisations giving little to charity, and others are just plain bogus.

Mr Wearne, 79, of New Road, Trimley St Mary, has had dozens of the sacks wanting clothes and bric-a-brac put through his letterbox in the past year.

“I had four last week, two the week before - it works out on average around three a week,” he said.

“If that number of homes are receiving these packets in Felixstowe alone, imagine multiplying that by the number of towns and villages all over the country.

“I think these charities could put their money to a better use.

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“I am not anti-charity and if I have clothes or items I don't need I take them to a charity shop where I know they will make money for a cause I support.”

Mr Wearne, Felixstowe's town crier, said some bags made it look as if the contents would go to charity but the small print indicated a commercial enterprise with the items being sold and a tiny proportion going to the good cause.

Kristian Dalley, consumer adviser with county trading standards, said unfortunately often the bags were scams.

“We gather a lot of intelligence on this issue and work with the police and other agencies through our scam-busters teams, but it is often difficult to bring a case to court. The people involved use cleverly-worded leaflets to sneak through the legislation. If people are unsure they can contact us and we can tell them if we know it is legitimate or not,” he said.

Are you fed up receiving charity sacks? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk