Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw MP.
Eric Ollerenshaw MP.

With Recess now here, it’s been great having more time to get out in town on a more leisurely basis, especially with the fantastic weather that we have been having.

One of the things I have noticed that always seems to increase around this time of year is the number of charity ‘street collectors’ in and around Horseshoe Corner.

Of course whilst I do feel that donating money to charity is important, unfortunately there have been a number of scams with people pretending to be charity street collectors and instead pocketing the money for themselves.

Therefore I thought I would share with you some precautions issued by the Charity Commission to ensure your generously given money goes to where you intent it.

Recently released research from the Charity Commission shows that only two in five of us make checks before giving when approached for donations and, as such, is urging the public to follow a few simple steps to ensure their money goes to a registered charity.

The most important of the commission’s tips is to simply ask for identification (all collectors should have an ID badge with the charity’s name clearly marked). However if you would like to see the full list of their top 10 tips to safer giving please visit www.charitycommission.gov.uk and simply typing in ‘giving safely’ in the search box on the website.

Can I also use this column to express my appreciation for the work of Baroness Sayeeda Warsi who resigned from the Government last week.

I have been proud of my work with her before and during Government on matters of community cohesion and faith and her resignation was on a straightforward matter of principle which has to be acknowledged whatever your views.

I am pleased she is sticking to her commitment to speak at Lancaster Priory on October 10 on her work regarding interfaith matters and in particular minority faiths in majority faith countries whether it be Muslims in Britain or Christians in Syria and Iraq.

For further information please contact the Priory.