Safety rules sink charity collection

PUBLISHED: 16:49 06 July 2006 | UPDATED: 14:45 12 May 2010

Jean Emes, who says the RNLI will miss out on much-needed funds.
1870DW3

Jean Emes, who says the RNLI will miss out on much-needed funds. 1870DW3

A WOMAN raising cash for charity has been left disappointed after health and safety rules stopped her carrying out a collection. Jean Emes, 63, raised £1,500 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution last year when collecting outside Tesco in Royston.

A WOMAN raising cash for charity has been left disappointed after health and safety rules stopped her carrying out a collection.

Jean Emes, 63, raised £1,500 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution last year when collecting outside Tesco in Royston.

But this year she has been prevented from standing outside the superstore to make the collection.

Tesco said this was because of construction work which was covered under health and safety laws.

A Tesco spokesman said: "There is work taking place all over the store and therefore because of safety concerns charity collections have been cancelled.

"Although the risk is only small, there still remains a risk. So a decision has been made to make sure safety standards are upheld."

Mrs Emes, who is secretary of the Royston branch of the RNLI, said the charity had been sent a letter from Tesco saying charity collections were not currently allowed.

She said: "This is an extremely big deal for us, because it means the RNLI will miss out on much- needed funds.

"As a charity, the RNLI relies on public support to carry on saving lives at sea."

The Royston RNLI is one of the most successful fund-raising branches in the country and raises thousands of pounds each year.

Retired teacher Mrs Emes said: "The collections are so important and without them the RNLI would suffer greatly.

"After collecting a considerable amount last time, we were hoping for another successful collection."

The decision to cancel caused further confusion after Mrs Emes visited the Tesco store last week to find that a soft drink promotion was taking place outside.

Mrs Emes, who has been a supporter of the charity for a number of years, said: "I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

"My first thought was how can a soft drinks merchandise stall be there and a charity cannot?

"After all, we cause less obstruction."

"If it was a case of health and safety, then so be it, but how does it justify the promotions taking place? It seems highly illogical and I can't help but think of the money that is being missed. It could be going to a good cause. It is a great disappointment, and to me it seems very much a case of double standards."

The Tesco spokesman said: "We understand how it looks, but the soft drink company is a commercial enterprise with its own insurance for employees. A contracted promotion is also pretty much impossible to cancel.

"We regret Mrs Emes' disappointment, and are sorry she was unable to undertake her collection.

"But she is welcome to come back as soon as the site is safe.

"We are also happy to make a contribution to her collection.

"Tesco lives and dies by its customers, and will always stand by goodwill gestures.

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