Poppy sellers ‘banned from Marks and Spencer’

Author: By Aleisha Scott, PA

The sellers have been using the busy stretch of pavement in Swindon for the
past 12 years, and usually raise around £5,000.

But after writing to the store in October for permission to hold their usual
collection they were told they were not one of Marks and Spencer’s listed
charities.

They have taken up a less-busy spot outside a nearby supermarket but say they
could have lost up to 10% of their income from the two-week collection.

Alan Baker, Swindon branch poppy organiser, told the Swindon Advertiser:
“People are coming up to me and saying ‘why aren’t you outside the M&S?’

“I am so disappointed in the whole situation, considering the present climate.

“People are dying in Afghanistan and M&S won’t support us while we are doing
our best to raise money.”

A spokesman for Marks and Spencer said: “We are a big supporter of the Poppy
Appeal and poppy collectors are more than welcome in our Swindon store.

“We apologise for the misunderstanding and encourage them to get back in touch
with the store management team.”

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