Town precinct ‘chuggers’ wear out their welcome

People are gtiing fed up with the number of 'chuggers' in Milngavie precinct
People are gtiing fed up with the number of 'chuggers' in Milngavie precinct

Local people and traders are getting fed up of having to “run the gauntlet” past as many as SIX charity collection workers in Milngavie town centre.

There were half a dozen charity workers, referred to by some as ‘chuggers’ (charity muggers), from Sense Scotland in Milngavie precinct recently - for six hours from 12pm to 6pm.

They were asking people if they’d sign up for a direct debit to support their charity, which helps deaf and blind children and adults in Scotland.

One trader now avoids going out at lunchtimes because she doesn’t want to be stopped.

Iron Chef manager, Rhona Scott, said: “I don’t even like going out for my lunch with them there.

“They make you feel really guilty for not giving money by saying it’s the same price as the coffee you’ve just bought.”

Owner of Iron Chef, Gilbert McVean, said: “They are a real nuisance. People are getting really fed up of being hassled by them.

“They are nothing better than licensed charity muggers.”

Iain Bell, from Milngavie, said: “It’s very annoying. I don’t mind people collecting for charity but it should be at the appropriate time and not when you are just trying to go about your business in the precinct.

“It particularly annoys me when they target older people.

“Also, charities pay these advertising companies to stop people in the street and collect direct debits - I don’t think charities should be spending their money on that, it should be going to the people who need it.

“It’s constant now. From all directions you are gettinga asked to sign up for direct debits in the street, on your phone at home, on TV. It’s ridiculous.”

A spokesperson for Sense Scotland said: “We are very sorry to hear complaints have been raised about our face-to-face fundraising team.

“We work with local communities across Scotland with the shared goal of delivering life enhancing support and services to disabled people and we regret if our approach to fundraising has in any way caused upset.

“Milngavie and Bearsden have continuously been generous and supportive of Sense Scotland and we look forward to future projects in the community. We do not currently have any complaints being processed about fundraising from the local community, however, if anyone wishes to discuss initiatives, approaches, ideas, opportunities or concerns, we welcome feedback from the wider community”