Sutton Trading Standards and Sutton Police officers want residents to be aware that leaflets put through letterboxes asking for ‘clothes for needy people’ can come from businesses as well as charities.
Residents in Princes Avenue and West Way have contacted their local Carshalton South & Clockhouse Safer Neighbourhoods Team concerned that leaflets dropped through their letterbox have come from a company wanting ‘clothes for orphans’.
Mandy Cherrington, Head of Business Regulation at Sutton Council, said there is nothing wrong with companies distributing such flyers. “Many collections are run by businesses that collect the donations, given in good faith, and sell them for profit abroad, which in itself is not illegal.”
She urged residents who want to give to charities to check flyers carefully because if they come from a charity they should include a registered charity number. Alternatively, residents could contact their local charity shop and either give directly to them or ask about their collections.
However, Mandy stated: “If statements made on leaflets are false then they may be committing a criminal offence.”
In addition, Sutton Council organises textile recycling days across the borough where residents can bring unwanted clothes, shoes and items such as towels and bedding, which are sold on with the money given to local charities. The next event takes place on Saturday 25th April in Carshalton High Street Car Park, 9.30am – 4.00pm. The London Wildcare Hospital will benefit financially from the event. Find out more at www.sutton.gov.uk.
If you receive a leaflet and are concerned then contact Consumer Direct, which is a telephone and online advice service funded by government and managed by the office of Fair Trading, offers consumers clear, practical and impartial advice and information. It operates in partnership with local authority Trading Standards Services. You can contact Consumer Direct on: 08454 04 05 06, or visit: www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.