CHARITIES are to miss out on thousands of pounds of potential donations after being banned from collecting in streets surrounding Commonwealth Games venues.
The 2014 Games Organising Committee (OC) has refused licences to all charities hoping to cash in on the flood of people descending on Glasgow for the 11-day event in July – allowing only its two “official sponsors” to collect.
Unicef and the Youth Sport Trust were named as the official partners of the Games earlier this year and are due to benefit from a range of events held in tandem with the Games, including fundraising opportunities.
But 17 other charities, which had been encouraged by Games organisers earlier this year to apply for collection licences, have now been told they will be barred from streets near the sporting action.
In January, the OC called for charities to apply for permission to hold street collections during the Games, giving not-for-profit organisations until the end of February to submit their requests.
The OC said the rules were in place to “prevent ambush marketing, to keep congestion in key spectator areas to a minimum and to preserve a celebratory atmosphere around the games”, and urged charities to apply in time “to ensure they do not miss out on the opportunity”. The OC stressed that they did not have to be one of the charity partners to apply.
But officials told The Scotsman that a decision had now been made to ban other charities for the benefit of the two partner organisations.
“In order to maintain [Unicef and the Youth Sport Trust’s] status as the official charity partners of the Games, the Organising Committee has decided that it will not authorise collections by other charities within any of the event zones,” said a spokeswoman for the OC.
The ban is backed by legislation due to come into force ahead of the event, which states that all “trading” activities including charity collections and busking are banned in areas near event venues, with only the Games’s authorised retail body, Venue Retail 2014, allowed to carry out any form of trade in the designated areas, including a large area of Glasgow city centre.
The area around Edinburgh’s Commonwealth pool, where the diving events are due to take place, will also be a no-go zone.
John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, which represents Scottish charities, said: “Unfortunately this often tends to be how these types of events operate, but of course we would much prefer to see more local and national charities, large and small, getting the chance to fundraise at the Games.”