A street collection is a charity collection on a high street or shopping area. Collections are usually made using buckets. Learn how to stage your own street collection with this handy guide from seasoned pros Aled and Enlli!
In order to be able to organise a street collection you must first make an application to your local council.
You should look to make an application a month before the date you are hoping to do the collection.
Popular areas and dates (such as Christmas) may require an application to be completed further in advance.
The application form should be available on the council's website.
The application form for most councils will be in PDF or word document format which you will need to save before filling in. Make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe. The forms are usually straightforward, requiring information about yourself and the charity.
Most councils also require a letter of authenticity (LOA) to be submitted alongside the application. This proves to the council that you are raising money for charity. You can get a LOA from your charity of choice. If you are planning a street collection for MS-UK, you can get in touch with the MS-UK Fundraising Team using our online form.
Be early - You may not be the only street collector on the day. By arriving early you can make sure you can stand in the prime location and catch the early shoppers who can also be the most generous.
Grab a great spot - It is very important to make sure you stand in a good location. Ideally you want to be placed in a busy place near popular shops.
Take a break - Street collecting can be very tiring both physically and mentally. Take breaks and make sure you drink enough water.
Try fancy dress - Dressing up really helps. It can often draw people's attention and often brings a smile to young children. I (Aled) often wear my giraffe onesie or something festive. Before Christmas we organised a street collection in St Albans and we certainly drew attention to ourselves dressed up as elves!
Be active - There is nothing worse than a disinterested collector! We never standing still when collecting. It keeps us warm and people always seem more likely to donate to those who look like they want to be there.
Grab some stickers! - Having stickers with you can be very useful. Children really enjoy getting something in return. At our Christmas collection we gave out festive stickers to children and their parents often reached for a few extra pennies!
People may ask what your charity does. If you're raising money for MS-UK, make sure you are aware of the amazing work they do!
Tell your chosen charity before you start collecting. You should always email the charity before making an application for a street collection as a charity can only make one application in an area per year.
Set up a Facebook page. If you are successful with an application, post about it on the Facebook page so others who live nearby can join in.
Don't shake the bucket! You are not allowed to shake your bucket when conducting a street collection.
Organising a street collection in central London tends to be very difficult. They need to be organised a long time in advance and usually by the charity itself.
If you would like to collect outside a supermarket or shopping centre you may require extra permission from the manager in additional to the council license.
From Aled and Enlli
Fancy hosting a street collection for MS-UK? Get in touch with our fundraising team today!
'I’ve had a wonderful two months since joining Sportability. I feel that my life is beginning to start again with my MS no longer being a brick in my pocket!'
That quote came out quite naturally in a casual conversation with Mandy, at one of our sporting events. As a former journalist it resonated with me because of its utter simplicity and total authenticity. I was a professional writer and yet I could never have created, or even imagined, such a complete and vibrant description that in just a couple of word encapsulates what Mandy obviously felt as the restraining, the weighing down, effect of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Inspired by this we have recently been gathering simple profiles from various people who enjoy our events and activities. These are unscripted self-written comments, devoid of PR frippery and spin, but chock full of sincerity and an earthy originality. The results are truly revealing.
How about this as a powerful message from Roger, a 65 year old living in the Midlands. 'With MS there are two ways you can go, either switch off and wait for a cure or you can find a different way of living your life. Like a river finding a new course. Before my MS I was working 80 hours a week and doing very little else. Since my diagnosis, I have travelled more, had more fantastic experiences, a lot of them with Sportability, certainly more than I ever would have had without my illness.'
Or the frank, honest, open-ness of Jen from East Anglia. 'Prior to suffering with MS, I had always been an outgoing, confident, professional individual. However, I became a very different person as my symptoms took hold, robbing me of all of this, as well as my identity. I found myself experiencing the very unfamiliar feeling of vulnerability, having a total lack of confidence and self-worth. My world became a very small place.'
But she goes on to reveal something of an MS metamorphosis. 'Then I was introduced to Sportability and wow, I haven't looked back! This enabled me to experience a variety of activities, such as gliding, quad-biking and sailing. It's a wonderful feeling to be in an environment where you feel safe, where you are accepted as you are and where people focus on what you can do, and not what you can't. I come away from a Sportability day with a big smile and feeling emotionally energized. My confidence has grown as I realise that there is an abundance of things out there that I can in fact do!'
They are only words, but how meaningful and heartfelt they are. And what insights and, dare I say it, inspiration, they evoke. It is the things that people say, like this, that make us do the things we do.
David Heard, Chief Executive of Sportability
Photo: David Heard and Trish Deykin. At the recent 2018 Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards Trish received The Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration. She is the current Triathlon European Champion, and has been for last two years. She is also a former World Champion.
I came out of a meeting in mid-January and had a text message from my good friend and Tysabri buddy’s husband, Alister... ‘Are you up for this?’ he said, sending a link to the Race to the King event, a 53 mile trail ultra-marathon.
I’d been running for about 8 months and had a few 10k and a half marathon runs under my belt, including the Brighton Marathon. I thought about it, albeit briefly, and replied ‘You know what? Yes! This sounds fun, happy to do it in a day too’. There was an option to do it over two days, but that was far too sensible…
And then I kind of forgot about it. I ramped up my training for Brighton and managed it in 4hr 30m. It was tougher than I’d hoped but I didn’t stick to my race plan and went too fast too soon. Alister assured me that a marathon was far harder than anything else I’d do… I was doubtful.
I signed up for a walking event, which the organiser agreed I could run if I was fully self-sufficient. So I ran 45km of trails on my 32nd birthday. Running offroad was a real eye opener. It took far longer than I expected but was really enjoyable and, as the only runner in a walking event, I won!
Alister was following a 12-week training program, but I was struggling. With a full time job, three dogs, multiple sclerosis (MS) and awful time management skills, I wasn’t getting the miles in. Seven weeks before the ultra, Alister and I hadn’t even run together – how were we going to manage 53 miles in each other’s company? I was starting to worry. As if he read my mind, Alister invited me to join him on a 13.1 training run around town. It went well but there was work to do. Not long after that, I managed to start using the program. It meant some early mornings and late nights, but soon I was racking up 25-40 miles per week, and Alister and I were running every Sunday together, exploring the South Downs between Chichester and Eastbourne.
At this point we discussed fundraising. We should raise some money, but who for? I volunteered that I would like to raise money for MS-UK, and Alister could join me or choose another charity if he wanted to. I explained that the MS-UK website and chat rooms had been beneficial for me post diagnosis, and I’d like to support them. He was keen to join me, and the race begun!
Both of us are fortunate to have very supportive families, friendship groups and colleagues, and our JustGiving pages started seeing a lot of visitors. Whilst my close colleagues are aware that I have MS, it’s not common knowledge, and as I’m field based, I often don’t see people for months. Whilst my email was nonspecific, my JustGiving page was honest and held nothing back, which felt liberating. The email went to the entire business, and I let out a deep breath. Within minutes my inbox was full of kind, generous and supportive messages, some from people I knew reasonably well, and others who I’d only met once. It felt amazing.
Alister and I went on to raise around £1,700 each and proudly wore our MS-UK running vests as we took on the ultra-marathon on 23 June 2018. We set off from Slindon at 8.15am and ran (yes, we were still running) across the finish line in Winchester at just gone 10.30pm. It was an amazing experience and I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. Our time was a little slower than hoped, but we had a headtorch malfunction, and both agreed we need to coordinate our toilet stops better in future. And yes, there is a ‘future’, Alister and I have only managed a few Parkruns together since but will be tackling at least one ultra-marathon in 2019 and aspire to complete a 100 mile ultra at some point.