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Juanne Fuller Column
High street 'muggers'
IS it my imagination or are there more high street fundraisers then ever before?
Despite the recession, rising unemployment and increasing financial pressure we all find ourselves under, you can’t move for them in Brixton.
They’re like a plague of locusts feeding off vulnerable Tube passengers, pouncing on you while you’re still adjusting your eyes to daylight after emerging from a subterranean experience.
I know that’s a bit strong, but on the wrong day it can be extremely irritating.
Last week I was stopped four times in less than a hundred yards, and a couple of days ago I stepped out of a shop to be greeted by a man who declared:
“I thought you were never coming out.”
This “chugger”, the less charitable name given to collectors, which is a combination of the words charity and muggers, was unashamedly lying in wait for me.
At times I’ve been moved to ask them:
“Why d’ya always stop me?”
But I have since learnt such a naïve question is music to their ears.
It provides an opening, you see, and a cheesy chance to flatter – with a “because you’re beautiful” or something equally inane.
I’m never rude. They’re only doing their job and it’s nearly always for a good cause.
More importantly, I did telephone market research in the past, and I know how it feels to be blanked stone cold.
But the truth is, if you’re on a half-hour lunch break or on your last legs after a hard day’s work, if you’re en route to pick your kids up from school or just plain shy, you don’t want to be cornered into a conversation designed to induce the emptying of your purse or bank account.
Surely in these difficult times there are more effective ways of getting us to support charities.
Juanne Fuller, aka Juju, co-presents Breakfast With Bonsu on weekday mornings on digital radio station Colourful.
Sir Ray Tindle
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