Street, station and supermarket collections
Collecting at places locally with lots of people around can be a great way to boost your fundraising. Shopping centres, high streets, stations and supermarkets are all great places to collect, and the longer you can be there during the day, the more money you’re likely to raise.
Essential information and guidelines for collectors
If you plan to hold a public street collection to raise money during Christian Aid Week (or at any other time of the year), a permit from your local licensing authority will be required. For information about how to gain a permit, please see details below:
England (outside London) and Wales: Check with your local council. Some ask you to write to the chief executive of your district, city or borough council asking for permission. Others have a form that you can complete.
London: Christian Aid will get two permits, valid across the whole of the Metropolitan Police district and City of London during Christian Aid Week. If you are planning to hold a collection, you must let our Central Supporter Engagement team know by calling 020 7523 2493. The permit does not cover collections at supermarkets, railway or tube stations – call the team for details of how to contact the relevant authorities.
- Please do not approach members of the public who are seated or in a queue unless this is authorised under an agreement with a private site or the seats or queue is directly related to the fundraising activity.
- Please don’t approach people who are carrying out official duties, such as uniformed officials while they are on duty or people who are clearly working
- Avoid disrupting or obstructing local businesses and ensure you treat staff and premises with respect.
- Asking people in person always gets the best response. Let people know you’re looking for collectors in your church notices etc, but make sure you follow it up by asking in person.
- Ask people who are no longer able to collect house to house. Supermarkets often give you a chair to sit on, so you don’t need to stand.
- Keep a list of who has previously collected. Once someone has done it and found out how easy it is, they are likely to do it again.
- You must not allow anyone under 16 to carry out street collections, except in London where, if you have special permission, you can use street collectors aged 14 or over.
When to hold collections
- Friday is generally thought to be the best day for supermarket collections, although you don’t often get the choice! Sunday mornings can work surprising well too, as people buy a newspaper and donate their change.
- Monday to Friday at rush hours are best for station collections.
- Saturdays are best for town centre collections.
- Garden centres are good on Fridays and Saturdays. Thursday evenings also work well if there are late night openings.
Buckets and money
- Supermarkets: it’s a good idea for the organiser to collect for the first hour. They will have the collection buckets and they can make sure everything is running smoothly. When their hour is up, they can pass the bucket on to the next collectors. The organiser may also like to do the final hour as they can take the money home with them once they have finished.
- Depending on how successful the collection is, you may need to empty the buckets halfway through the day, as they do get very heavy!
- Station collections: Give a tin to each collector in advance. You could then ask them to drop the tin off at an agreed location (a church or someone’s house) once they have finished collecting.
- Don’t forget to thank your collectors and tell them how much they raised!
To get started with any of these kinds of collections, please contact us. Our friendly teams can help with the procedures for different local councils, rail operators and supermarkets.
They can also provide the necessary official documents to support your application to collect.