Heroes not helped on Armed Forces Day

JPCT 290613 Royal British Legion in the Carfax. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 290613 Royal British Legion in the Carfax. Photo by Derek Martin

A row has erupted after it emerged that the charity Help for Heroes was not able to collect donations in Horsham on Armed Forces Day.

Members of the Royal British Legion had to refuse donations at the Armed Forces Day events in the Carfax on Saturday, as the council had already agreed that a cancer charity could collect donations on that date.

Sean Byrne, an injured ex-serviceman, said he was ‘furious’ with the council for not allowing collections to be made.

He said: “I feel people should have been allowed to donate their money to the cancer charity and different charities.

“I am angry that people wanted to donate and they couldn’t take their money - one lady went up and wanted to give £20 but they had to refuse it.”

Philip Harris, one of the organisers of the events in the Carfax, said: “It’s the one day of the year we can really try to raise funds - it is disappointing.

“The council said I didn’t get my bid in quick enough, but this is Forces Day and I would have thought they would have thought about Forces Day and the charity we are helping.”

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “Horsham District Council issues over 150 street collections permits a year to charities and we try to accommodate as many requests as we can but inevitably there is sometimes competition for certain dates.

“It is unfortunate when a charity cannot be accommodated and in this case the applicant did not book the specific date in time and was offered alternative dates to carry out a street collection.

“Horsham District Council is completely committed to supporting our Armed Services and this is demonstrated by the fact that we are in the process of signing the Armed Forces Community Covenant.”