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HomeArticlesThe Challenge Of The Chuggers - Noble fundraisers or nuisance?

The Challenge Of The Chuggers – Noble fundraisers or nuisance?

In the UK, most charitable organisations rely on public donations to continue their great work and, as such, many carry out numerous campaigns in order to raise cash.

While many Harrow residents are happy to drop a couple of quid in a bucket in the supermarket or make donations online, one fundraising method continues to divide opinion and, in this article we’re talking about chuggers – noble fundraisers or a nuisance ?

Chugging hell

In the early 2000s, some disgruntled person coined the term “chugger” – an amalgamation of Charity Mugger. This came about due to the fact that some high street charity fundraisers became a little too enthusiastic about approaching the public for a donation – and stories soon began to emerge of these chuggers chasing people down the street or even grabbing onto their hand or arm.

Very quickly, most shopping centres in the UK banned these fundraisers from their premises however, there is nothing to stop them from lurking beside the entrances and exits to catch shoppers. Although most people wholeheartedly support the work done by these charities, an increasing number complain that the methods used can be invasive and even aggressive.

Reigning in the chuggers

In 2013, Harrow joined over 100 towns and cities in Great Britain in limiting the number of days and hours that charity fundraisers are allowed to have a presence in our town centres.

In Harrow, chuggers are limited to one charity per day and then a maximum of three days a week between 9am and 7pm. Harrow Council has also imposed a limit of a maximum of four fundraisers at any given time. While some feel that this is a little harsh – after all, they’re raising money for those who desperately need it – others approve; with some saying that they have felt harassed and even frightened at the hands of these fundraisers.

Codes of practice

None of us want to deprive charities of the funds they so desperately need so, surely the answer lies with the charities training their staff and volunteers – and enforcing strict codes of practice to help make the term chugger a thing of the past.