Face to face fundraisers (chuggers)

What are face to face fundraisers?

Charity street fundraisers have become a feature of Britain’s high streets. In Northampton they have to abide by a voluntary agreement as part of a move by Northampton Borough Council to help deal more effectively with the problem of face-to-face fundraisers who intimidate the town’s shoppers and visitors.

Anecdotal reports from the police, neighbourhood wardens, local councillors and town centre businesses have shown an increase in the number of complaints from members of the public about the issue.

"Chugging” is not subject to the same restrictions as traditional charity fundraisers as it involves members of the public signing up to direct debit payments rather than giving cash. This anomaly makes it more difficult for local authorities to take action against chuggers, which is why the council introduced the voluntary agreement. 

About the Northampton Voluntary Agreement

Charity fundraisers working in Northampton have to adhere to the agreement which sets out the rules drawn up by the council and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA).

What the fundraisers are allowed to do

Rules state that fundraisers who wish to operate in Northampton can only do so on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 6pm. They can also only operate in two agreed areas in Abington Street - between Wellington Street and St Giles Terrace (maximum three fundraisers) and between the Cobblers last statue and Dychurch Lane (maximum two fundraisers).

Enforcement of the rules

The PFRA is charged with making sure their members comply with the new rules. Any complaints made to authorities in Northampton will be fed back to the PFRA so that action, including warnings, fines and exclusion, can be taken.

How to report an issue

If you have a comment or complaint to make about any face to face fundraisers operating in Northampton or who you believe is in breach of the rules of the voluntary agreement please email our community safety team or telephone 01604 837752.