Church group told by Swan Centre manager they hadn’t followed correct booking requirements.
Poppy sellers raising money for the Royal British Legion were turned away from collecting at a Birmingham shopping centre.
The church group had planned to sell poppies, badges and take donations for the Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal, but claim they were turned away by the manager of the Swan Shopping Centre in Yardley without explanation.
One member of the church group, who meet at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Brays Road, Sheldon, said the situation had left the group stunned and upset.
But the shopping centre manager said the group hadn’t followed the correct booking procedure.
Patrick Caroll, aged 66, was due to join the group at midday to help out the staff at the poppy stand. He said: “The group did this is Redditch last week and had no problem.
“The British Legion is one of the best causes I can think of. My grandad died in the Second World War, and there are people still dying today for us.
“It would have been an honour to have sold the poppies.
“We had planned to set up in the large hall way in the entrance of the shopping centre and wouldn’t have been in anybody’s way.
“We were so upset, we don’t understand why we have been turned away.
“One lady said that she would never shop in the shopping centre again when she saw that the group had been turned away”.
But Swan Centre manager Barry Cartmell explained that the episode was nothing personal, and he would be happy to welcome the charity back once the correct procedure had been followed.
“The Swan Centre operate a strict policy of bookings. This is so there is no conflict of bookings between charities.
“We will always accommodate a charity into our centre, and support all good causes. But we hadn’t had any contact with the members from the Poppy Appeal.
“We need to have all the relevant details from a charity and follow procedure. Once this has been done we would gladly invite them back”.
A spokesman from The Royal British Legion said: “The Royal British Legion is grateful to shops, pubs and other commercial enterprises which allow Poppy Appeal collections to be taken on their private property or inside their trading premises.
“The Legion would never support the public naming and shaming of traders who are unable to support the Appeal, and we advise our poppy collectors to follow collection policies and guidelines that may be in place.”
See on www.birminghammail.co.uk