Bogus charity caller preys on Ormesby

PUBLISHED: 09:32 03 November 2010 | UPDATED: 09:56 03 November 2010

A CALLOUS bogus caller targeting homes in Ormesby St Margaret has forced poppy appeal organisers to cancel their door-to-door collection with the possible loss of £900 for war heroes.

So far, volunteers from appeal organisers the Royal British Legion have only reported one rogue fundraiser, but the legion is investigating whether similar problems have been reported across Norfolk.

Collectors visiting homes across Ormesby with cash tins found residents were unwilling to give, reporting they had already donated money to a person claiming to represent the appeal, who visited their homes on Saturday <October 30>.

The lack of donations has forced the four legion volunteers, who annually raise funds in Ormesby and surrounding villages, to scrap their door to door collection in favour of a coffee morning.

However, Karen King, the local poppy appeal organiser, said the coffee morning was likely to raise £100-£150, whereas the door-to-door collection would have realised around £1,000.

She said: “It is completely unfair on us. We are knocking on doors and people keep saying somebody has already been. We are incurring costs to do the door to door collection and it is completely unfair.”

She had not got a description of the man responsible, but said it was likely he was carrying a genuine-looking poppy appeal tin, which may have hoodwinked homeowners who would not have asked for ID. He has been targeting estate roads away from the main roads through the village.

She said bona fide poppy appeal collectors carried a white card on them with the appeal logo and a piece of paper giving the collector’s name, address, phone number and car registration.

They also carry a pink form giving details of the area they are allowed to cover.

Mrs King said four volunteers, including her husband Steve, were responsible for collecting from the Ormesby area, which includes the villages of Scratby, Hemsby, California, Winterton and Rollesby.

The poppy appeal is held annually to raise money for the legion’s work providing financial, social and emotional support to people who have served in the armed forces.

The fundraiser coincides with Remembrance Day on November 11 when millions gather across the country for a two minute silence in honour of servicemen who have died serving their country.

THE coffee morning will be held at the Barn Rooms in Hemsby on November 13, between 10am and noon. There will be a cake stall and tombola.

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