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Street collections and house-to-house collections

Licences you may need to collect money for charity, how to apply for street collection and house-to-house collection permits. How to report an unauthorised or suspicious collector and how you can complain about a charity collector.

Do I need a licence to collect money for charity?

Yes you do. Any person making an appeal to the public on behalf of a charitable cause, by way of collection in a public space, to give money or other property, will require a permit from the council to do so.

You must apply for either a street collection permit or a house-to-house collection permit.

House-to-house collections are a vital source of funds for many charitable organisations in our community, however they must be carried out efficiently and in compliance with the law.

It is important to make sure the correct permissions are in place before carrying out collections. The licensing team has responsibility for registering these collections.

Not requiring permission

In the following situations you would not require permission from the council to collect money for charity:

  • if you are collecting sponsorship you do not require a licence
  • Direct Debit collectors do not require a licence.  This is because they are not collecting cash and the members of the public who sign up can cancel the Direct Debit contract
  • if you wanted to collect on private land which is undercover, for example, if you wanted to collect in the local pub or at a local supermarket you would not need consent from the council, instead you would need permission from the landlord or manager of the supermarket. You will need a House to House licence if you intend to move from pub to pub for example.

Further information on permitted charity collections is available in our policy below:

Street Collection and House to House Policy (word 128kb opens in new window)

What is a street collection?

To make an appeal to the public on behalf of a charitable cause, by way of collection in a public space, to give money or other property, will require a permit from the council.

What is a house-to-house collection?

Collections can involve money, Direct Debit commitments or goods (such as clothing) and may be carried out by volunteers, charity officers, professional fundraisers and commercial participators.

The House to House Collections Act 1939 states that a house includes a business, so fundraising pub crawls are covered by the same requirements.

Collections generally take place from door to door. Some of the larger well-known charities such as Christian Aid, Help the Aged etc, have a charity commission exemption from having to apply for a licence but by and large most of the smaller, and particularly local groups and organisations need a licence before they can collect money (or articles which they intend to sell later), from door to door.

Leaving a static collection tin or receptacle in a house or place of business will not require a licence.

Changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice state that organisations operating house to house bag collections for charitable purposes must not deliver bags to a property that displays a sticker or sign which includes the words ‘no charity bags’, ‘no clothing bags’ or any other words which clearly indicate that the householder does not wish to donate through this method.

When can I apply for a licence to collect? 

Street Collections 

Applications must be made at least one calendar month before the collection date. 

Street collections are limited to two collections per week in the following areas:

  • Beverley
  • Goole
  • Pocklington
  • Anlaby
  • Hessle
  • Cottingham
  • Brough
  • Hedon
  • Howden
  • Withernsea
  • Bridlington town centre.  

All other areas of the East Riding will be restricted to one collection per week. 

Collections will normally only be permitted on Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. 

National collection days will be permitted. 

House-to-House Collections 

Applications must be made at least one calendar month before the collection date.  

House-to-house collections will be limited to no more than one per week in each area of the East Riding 

Collection will only be permitted on week days. 

Please note: If you are granted a permit or licence to collect and do not submit your statement of return within one month of the collection, you will not be granted anymore collections until the relevant statement of return is received. 

No house-to-house licence or Street Collection Permit will be issued consent at this time for collection dates between 1 May 2018 and 30 April 2019. 

All applications for this period will need to be made between 1 April 2018 and 20 April 2018. 

All future applications will be determined in April for the following 12 months. 

How do I apply for a street collection permit?

Apply online for a street collection permit

To accompany your application as the applicant (promoter) you will need to submit: 

  • a basic DBS or subject access request (less than 3 months old on application) will then last up to 3 years
  • a letter of authority from the charity or charitable cause you are seeking to raise funds on behalf of.

You can submit a hard copy application below:

Street Collection Permit Application (word 53kb opens in new window)

Street Collection Regulations (word 24kb opens in new window) 

Street Collection Return form (word 22kb opens in new window)

Please submit your application direct to the licensing team by post to: 

County Hall 
Cross Street 
Beverley 
East Yorkshire 
HU17 9BA

or by email  licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.

Via one of our customer service centres by using our  customer service centre finder finder to locate your nearest centre.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application as each must be assess on their own merits and subject to policy limitations. 

How do I apply for a house-to-house collection licence?

Apply online for a house-to-house collection

To accompany your application as the applicant (promoter) you will need to submit:  

  • a basic DBS or subject access request (less than 3 months old on application) will then last up to 3 years. 
  • a letter of authority from the charity or charitable cause you are seeking to raise funds on behalf of.
  • a outline of the charitable purposes aims.

You can submit a hard copy application below:

House to house collection regulations (word 16kb opens in new window)

House to House Return form (word 23kb opens in new window)

Please submit your application direct to the licensing team:

By post to: 

County Hall 
Cross Street 
Beverley 
East Yorkshire 
HU17 9BA 

By email:  licensing@eastriding.gov.uk 

Via one of our customer service centres by using our  customer service centre finder to locate your nearest centre.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application as each must be assess on their own merits and subject to policy limitations.  

How can I report an unauthorised or suspicious collector?

To report a suspicious charity collector please contact the licensing team by:

Email:  licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

In order to investigate your complaint the licensing team will need as much information as possible.

The following information will help us with our investigation:

  • Name and details charity/collectors
  • Date and time of collection
  • Location of collection
  • Leaflets
  • Collection bag.

How can I complain about a charity collector?

To complain about a charity collector please contact the licensing team by:

Email:  licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

In order to investigate your complaint the licensing team will need as much information as possible.

The following information would help us with our investigation:

  • Name and details charity/collectors
  • Date and time of collection
  • Location of collection
  • Leaflets
  • Collection bag.