Tesco says sorry for carnival charity mix-up
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has said sorry to Shaftesbury Carnival after a collection day mix-up left a charity's takings down.
The company has also promised to make a donation after hearing that carnival secretary Gill Wallis had to find a replacement collection point at short notice.
And it is arranging another date for volunteers to hold a collection at the Shaftesbury store in aid of Naomi House children's hospice.
Mrs Wallis said Tesco had allowed carnival supporters to hold a Money Mile collection outside the Shaftesbury store for six years. Proceeds have gone to the charity chosen by the carnival each year.
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She said: "This year I took a letter to the store at the end of July as usual asking to do the collection again.
"When I popped in to check it was all right I was told that we couldn't do it.
"They said there was a change about how Tesco supports charities - they have an outside arrangement - and I needed to have filled in a form.
"It was the first I knew about it. Nobody had replied to my letter."
Places outside the Post Office and the Co-op in Shaftesbury had already been arranged for the Money Mile collection, in which people are asked to place coins in a line along a tape.
Hine and Parsons agreed at short notice to have a collection outside its shop.
Mrs Wallis said: "The total came to about £160 but in the past we've reached more than £200 and I'm sure that's because so many people use Tesco - it must have more people in there than any other shop in Shaftesbury.
"I was disappointed and angry.
"It had worked well for six years. I would have liked to have had a phone call from the local store to tell me why I couldn't do the collection this year.
"I had a reply from Tesco head office customer services suggesting there was another charity collection that day but there wasn't."
The Money Mile was held on 26th September as part of carnival week.
A spokesman for Tesco said: "We have supported the carnival and their nominated charities for a number of years.
"On this occasion there was a misunderstanding on the dates for the collection day, for which we apologise.
"We are arranging an alternative collection day as well as giving a donation ourselves."
Mrs Wallis said: "I am grateful for that because it means our charity is not going to lose out."