by Jennifer Valentine-Miller
For many people, including me, this year will be another to change energy suppliers and telecom providers. It has also been another year of avoiding or confronting beggars in the street and on our trains. There is also the situation of finding myself stressing and avoiding the phone when it rings, because a subconscious thought tells me this is a call from a charity I already contribute to. Close friends have shared with me their awkward and sometimes confrontational situations when dealing with family members and their nonchalant approach when borrowing money. I am not writing about generating hatred against any person or organisation who ask for money, I believe that when asked give my money (for whatever reason), there should be guidance that allows someone like me to say “no” with confidence. I enjoy giving to charities. However there is that feeling of bombardment. The communication regulators Ofcom say that you can make a complaint in writing to TPS (Telephone Preference Service) if there is a feeling that your telephone number is continually being targeted by marketing and telesales companies. I find the idea of money being used to purchase goods and shopping going towards a charity of your choice. Also, I will not be paying any extra towards this.
Easyfundraising.org.uk will give you a cash reward that can be turned into a charity donation. Easyfundraising.org.uk will collect this and send it on at no extra cost. Begging for money is a serious matter and it is evident in my neighbourhood. Although begging is illegal it does not carry a jail sentence under the Vagrancy Act 1824.
The website Politics.co.uk say that people who beg are “among the most vulnerable in society, often trapped in poverty and deprivation, and it is regarded as a risky and demeaning activity”. The charity Crisis estimates that over 80 percent of beggars are homeless. I have experienced people begging or asking for money whilst travelling on the train. I found that was particularly intimidating. The Ilford Recorder and British Transport Police (BTP) have stepped up patrols on the train lines (to deter anti-social behaviour) from Liverpool Street to Shenfield, which goes through Ilford, via Chadwell Heath. A spokesman for BTP said: “Some people involved in begging are destitute and in need of help.” The British Transport Police went on to say that “they will try to direct those begging for money towards the appropriate services rather than criminalise them.” There are many online forums asking the same question around the subject of borrowing of money to friends.
There are many viewers who console each other by saying: “I am not comfortable with it because of what it might do to our friendship. It’s obvious that (our friendship) does seem to be your first concern.” Another example; “the surest way to damage a friendship is to actually give the money” and “debts between friends are more damaging than anything else.” Fox Business is a subsidiary of America’s Fox News. The TV network suggests to it viewers they should try to find a way to help a relative who continually asks for money. If the support is in the form of money then it should be handed to them until a repayment agreement is in place. Do not give family members electronic access to your bank account, either. Fox Business suggests giving cheque payments or money-orders, because they are safer and more advisable.