Exmouth pub bans Raymond fundraising

STAFF at an Exmouth pub prevented the mother of cancer sufferer Raymond O’Sullivan from asking customers to donate money to go towards his life-saving treatment.

Vanessa Evens, joined by a team of friends and relatives, collected nearly �1000 from taking donation buckets around all but one of the town centre’s pubs last week.

The exception was the Powder Monkey where the 42-year-old, of Green Close, claimed ‘heartless’ staff would not allow her to fundraise in their premises.

Mrs Evens said this was despite calling the Wetherspoon-owned pub prior to arriving when she was given the go-ahead.

She said: “I was so shocked when we were told we couldn’t fundraise inside the Powder Monkey because we had been given permission beforehand.

“As we were leaving, customers were saying to us that they just couldn’t believe it.”

The decision, however, did not ruin their night. Her team of fundraisers moved onto pubs such as The Clipper, The Bicton, Park Hotel, Exmouth Arms and The Phoenix, where they raised a staggering amount.

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Mrs Evens also visited The York and Franklins – places she said were particularly helpful.

“People in the York were absolutely fantastic. They really did help kick things off for us that night. And in Franklins: Boy did they put their hands in their pockets!”

Eddie Gershon, a spokesperson for Wetherspoons, said he understood the frustration of Mrs Evens as they were told they would not be able to collect money in The Powder Monkey.

He added: “The person who stated this would be ok to do was incorrect and it was only brought to our attention when the ladies came into the pub.

“Wetherspoon collects for one national charity, CLIC Sargent, for which it has raised more than �3.5 million nationally in recent years.

“It has a policy of not allowing collectors in to collect money from individuals while they are in the pub.

“Some Wetherspoon pub managers do allow individual collecting boxes to be placed at the bar, alongside those of CLIC Sargent, and we suggest that the two ladies ask the manager if this would be possible to do.

“It is regrettable that the women feel they have been let down by Wetherspoon and we understand this, however, the policy of not allowing customer collections in our pubs (other than for CLIC Sargent) is a longstanding one.”

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