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Face to face fundraisers

Charity street fundraisers have become a feature of Britain’s high streets. They have to abide by a local voluntary agreement as part of a move to help deal more effectively with the problem of face-to-face fundraisers who intimidate the town’s shoppers and visitors.

Anecdotal reports from the police, neighbourhood wardens, local councillors and town centre businesses have shown an increase in the number of complaints from members of the public about the issue.

This type of fundraising, sometimes referred to as "Chugging”, is not subject to the same restrictions as traditional charity fundraisers as it involves members of the public signing up to direct debit payments rather than giving cash. This anomaly makes it more difficult for local authorities to take action against chuggers, which is why we introduced the voluntary agreement.

Charity fundraisers working in West Northamptonshire have to adhere to the agreement which sets out the rules drawn up by the council and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA).

Rules state that fundraisers can only do so on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 6pm. They can also only operate in two agreed areas in Abington Street - between Wellington Street and St Giles Terrace (maximum three fundraisers) and between the Cobblers last statue and Dychurch Lane (maximum two fundraisers).

The PFRA is charged with making sure their members comply with the rules. Any complaints made to authorities in Northampton will be fed back to the PFRA so that action, including warnings, fines and exclusion, can be taken.

There are other forms of street collections and house to house collections that may require licence permissions.

If you have a comment or complaint to make about any face to face fundraisers operating in Northampton or who you believe is in breach of the rules of the voluntary agreement please call 0300 126 7000.

Last updated 20 December 2023