Health and safety guidelines
Get to know your street
If you’re not already familiar with the area, find out about the street you will be visiting and any potential safety issues. If your church, local committee or group collected in that street last year, they might have some information and advice.
Make sure a friend, relative or member of your church, committee or group knows when and where you will be collecting. If you have a mobile phone, take it with you but keep it concealed so that it’s not a target for thieves.
If you drive to the street where you’re collecting, park your car in a safe, well-lit area as near to the street as possible. Avoid walking a long distance carrying money.
It’s illegal to collect after 9pm – and we recommend that you only collect during daylight hours anyway. This is not only safer for you, but potential supporters may also feel more comfortable opening the door to you while it’s still light.
Consider postponing your collection if the weather makes it hazardous.
Safe access to properties
If a property is hard to access (due to, for example, dangerously stacked rubbish, building works or an unstable path) it may be better not to visit. You might be able to make contact with a householder via a neighbour instead.
Always be aware of any hazards that could cause you to slip or trip up, as well as falling items, unstable structures, machinery, moving vehicles and things that restrict visibility, such as heavy undergrowth.
Dogs and other pets
We suggest you use a ruler to push envelopes through letterboxes. If, while delivering or collecting, you become aware that there’s a fierce dog or other pet at the property, which isn’t being controlled or restrained by the householder, move quickly to a place of safety.
Where possible, bring someone with you – it’s always safer (and more fun) to collect in pairs, especially in an area that’s isolated or has a high crime rate. Don’t take risks, be guided by your instincts, and if you begin to feel unsafe it may be better to postpone your collection and return to a place of safety.
Don’t enter anyone’s home, and avoid dark, unlit areas or places from which you could find it difficult to escape. Consider precautions such as carrying a personal safety alarm.
Dealing with confrontational, violent or aggressive behaviour
If you encounter anyone who’s aggressive, confrontational or hostile, stay calm and remain polite. Keep a safe distance from the person and find a way to withdraw safely from the situation as soon as you can.
If you see that someone’s becoming agitated, try to defuse the situation and avoid saying or doing anything that might make it worse.
Please be aware that old paper £5 notes will no longer be legal tender after 5 May 2017. Use a discreet bag/container that allows you to keep the money you collect concealed.
If a supporter wishes to make a large donation on the door, it’s better for them to write a cheque. If at any point you feel threatened or challenged for the money you’ve collected, don’t take any personal risks. In the event of a threat or theft, call the police as soon as you can safely do so.
If you’re too unwell to collect, or are aware of a health condition that may make it unsafe, postpone your visit until you’re well enough, or arrange for another member of your church, committee or group to do it instead.
Reporting accidents, near misses and incidents
In the unlikely event that an accident or incident occurs during your house-to-house collection, it’s important that you report this immediately to the leader of the church or other group that’s organising the collection.