This page gives information on charitable street and house-to-house collections.

Charity collections in St Albans and District

Donation JarAll charitable street and house-to-house collections must be licensed by your council.  You may apply for a charity collection permit using the forms below. Please familiarise yourself with the Regulations and Conditions in the PDF documents below before making your application. 

A charity collection is defined as a collection of money or sale of articles for the benefit of charitable purposes. A street collection is a collection made in any place that is freely accessible to the public and includes the pavement, parks, supermarkets, shopping precincts and so on. A house-to-house collection is one that takes place from door to door and might involve knocking on people’s doors, posting envelopes through letterboxes, or going from pub to pub with collecting tins.

Each charity may apply for one street collection per year in each of the following areas: St Albans, Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Redbourn and Marshalswick Quadrant, or for a street collection at another location within the district, with the appropriate permissions. House-to-house collections are licensed differently and the Council will request that you liaise with other charities in order to avoid more than one collecting in the same area at any one time.  Please give as much notice as possible – a minimum of one month is required – when applying for a permit to collect. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Lovell at or 01727 819254.

Street and House to House Charitable Collections Policy

The Licensing and Regulatory Committee adopted the Street and House to House Charitable Collections Policy on 15th July 2015. The policy will remain in effect until it is reviewed and superseded by a subsequent policy. It will be revised every three years.

Street and House to House Charitable Collections Policy

The Council considers that the process for obtaining a permit to collect money or clothing for charitable purposes would benefit from a policy so that everyone, both the public and the collectors, understands what we expect from those seeking to collect in our area. The policy sets out the way we will work out whether a door-to-door clothing collection is a legitimate charitable collection. This is set out in the House to House section and reflects a change to the way we interpret what is an adequate amount of money going to a charity from a clothing collection.

If you are concerned that a door-to-door/house to house collection is not a legitimate collection please contact Sue Lovell, Administrator - Planning Appeals/Charitable Collections on 01727 819 254.  If you are concerned about the behaviour of any collector please call Hertfordshire Constabulary on 101.

Direct Debit Mandate Collectors on the Street ("Chuggers")

The activities of direct debit mandate collectors on the street (so-called "chuggers") are not regulated by law, and are not therefore subject to any licensing provision.  However, the Council has in place a voluntary code of practice as follows:

  • Only one visit by each d/d fundraising company per month to each town in the district

  • Only one fundraising d/d company on the street at any one time

  • No d/d fundraising companies to visit on the same day and place as a national or local charity street collection

  • No d/d fundraising companies to visit on Charter Market days (Wednesdays and Saturdays) in St Albans or during the month of December

In the event that you have a complaint about a Street "Chugger", please call the Council's Charity Collections Section on 01727 819254 or e-mail

House-to-House Clothing Collections - Information for Householders


House-to-House Collections Act 1939

The law requires any person or company making a charitable collection from House-to-House to hold either:

a) a licence from the Local Licensing Authority (usually the Council or, in London, the Metropolitan Police) OR

b) a National Exemption Order from the Cabinet Office (see link below)

If you wish to check whether a clothing collection taking place in your area is legitimate, please contact the Council's charitable collections section on 01727 819254 or email


If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a house-to-house collection and you are unable to contact the Council, simply do not donate anything.

Unfortunately there is a large number of fake and unauthorised collectors operating in the UK.  The only way to be sure that the collection is legitimate is to check with your Local Licensing Authority, who will have undertaken background checks before issuing the licence.

For a legitimate operator, the costs and expenses of making the collections are high in comparison with the amount actually donated to the charity.  The Cabinet Office has recently determined that, providing a donation of 6.4% of the proceeds from such a collection is donated, it is acceptable in law. 

Other methods of giving to charity include donating your goods directly to a charity shop or via a charity-owned recycling container.

View the list of current holders of a National Exemption Order.

Forms - applications, forms of account (post collection)

To apply online for a charity collection licence, or to find printable application forms, please click on the relevant link:

House to House Collections

Street Collections


A charity stall is available on Saturdays on St Albans Market at a nominal charge.  On Wednesday Markets, it is possible for charities to bring a table and the market manager will allocate a space.  The charity stall may be booked once per annum by each charity.  To apply, please use the form below.

Date of last review: 05 August 2015