Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Ok someone informed me that “London Poppy Day” has been going on for several years, happens in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday and is when the British Legion chuggers hit Central London en masse to try to maximise contributions . I still find it very sad that either those who organise this feel that they need to use some sort of gimmicky drive to raise the profile of what should be an act of solemn dedication or that possibly our society has fallen so far that a gimmicky drive is needed to make us acknowledge our debt to those who fought, were wounded and died for our freedoms. As I said, old fashioned. 


  1. Or just old. Times are hard and there isn't a lot of spare cash around to support organizations which rely on voluntary donations. You appear to be confusing the act of remembrance with an ongoing battle for survival. Aside from endless pontification and criticism, what are you doing about it?

  2. I work for a charity, in their fundraising department (won't name them), although I don't have much to do with station collections.

    What I will say, is that I find LU are very good at giving us collections, and the station staff on the whole are very accommodating. Had a few big problems at one station (not a central line one and will remain nameless), but the appropriate people at 55 Broadway were informed.

    I know that times are hard, and its very obvious that spontaneous donations are down, but direct debits are going up, as people I think find that they don't miss the say £2 monthly or however much they feel they can contribute. Also, people are getting tuned into the fact if they donate by card, direct debit so we can talk to them, we can get Gift Aid and claim the tax back from the government.

    I noticed today that Breakthrough Breast Cancer were at Liverpool Street AND Kings Cross (and at Kings Cross getting in the way the whole damn time, as they decided to stand right near the gatelines and nobody stopped them). For that reason alone I refused to stop and engage with them or give them anything. I do for the poppy appeal, but that's becuase they DON'T try and use emotional blackmail. But then, I also walk straight past chuggers as well.

    Well done Mr Shrugged for donating, keep up the good work :)

    1. I did voluntary work for a charity when I was on the dole in the 90s and Chugging must be the least effective way of raising money, I use direct debits myself. What also astounds me is the number of charities that seem to duplicate the work of others. An example would be “Help for Heroes” which to my mind seems to overlap in places with the Royal British Legion.

      I wonder how much administration costs could be saved by amalgamating all these similar charities while at the same time I think it sad that we need these charities at all, that really the assistance these charities give would be something the government should provide to our troops and their dependents as a matter of course.

  3. Interesting. Chugging does have some fans, but yes its a pain in the butt, and we get a lot of problems with them.

    However, the main problem with them is people signing the direct debit mandates when they're there, and then ringing us up the next day and saying they'd like to cancel because they didn't realise what they were signing.

    Hello people, read the paperwork before signing it. NOt a problem if you do need/want to cancel, as we can do that for you, and the best bit is the agency doesn't get paid if we don't collect a payment from the punter, but shows that people are like sheep and will just sign anything.

    I@m not a fan of Help for Heroes, as I think they use the same emotional blackmail as the Cancer charities, but yes, you are right, the Government should be doing more.

  4. To Clarify...

    London Poppy Day is an opportunity for serving members of the armed services to raise funds for the Royal British Legion during a single day in London. It is designed to complement the 'solemn dedication' of the Royal British Legions' own collectors, not diminish it. The military guys who take part are volunteers and so on leave to do so. They do it, I think, because they believe the country has not forgotten, and should not forget 'our debt to those who fought, were wounded and died for our freedoms'. The ones I spoke to could tell you a story or two about that kind of sacrifice, having lost friends whilst serving our country. Chuggers is not even close to the mark. Publicity helps, gimmicky or not.