Victory for Royal British Legion Stevenage branch as The Range makes charity charging U-turn

Stevenage Poppy Appeal organiser Richard Mott, pictured with his wife Pat, says the U-turn is a vict

Stevenage Poppy Appeal organiser Richard Mott, pictured with his wife Pat, says the U-turn is a victory for all charities. - Credit: Archant

Home and leisure chain The Range has announced a U-turn over charging charities £300 to collect in its Stevenage store.

The town’s Poppy Appeal organiser Richard Mott contacted the Comet after being told that their Royal British Legion branch would have to pay the fee to collect for a 12-month period at the Monkswood Way store, having done so for free for the previous three years.

The retail firm said the charges were brought in nationally to cover costs of vetting charities after bogus collectors were found to be operating and due to the number of requests for bookings.

But less than a week after our story, a Range spokesman said: “After reviewing this process it has been decided not to charge not-for-profit charity organisations, however charities will still need to follow the process of booking a date and all charities will be vetted to make sure they are registered with the Charity Commission.”

They added that company representatives had been speaking to the Legion about arranging a collection in Stevenage.

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Mr Mott, of Meadow Way, was unaware of any contact but said: “We consider this as a victory for all charities as having to pay to collect defeats the object of what charity collecting is all about – especially long established charities like Macmillan, Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie, Keech Hospice Care and ourselves.”

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