Tesco customer's anger over charity workers kicked out in the cold

PUBLISHED: 16:31 17 December 2010 | UPDATED: 11:31 20 December 2010

Derek Curtis stands in the cold outside Tesco

Derek Curtis stands in the cold outside Tesco

Archant

SUPERMARKET bosses kicked volunteer charity workers out of their superstore and into the freezing cold, because they were "disrupting the customer flow".

Fundraisers for the Children’s Aid Foundation, which supports disabled and disadvantaged children in the UK, were left standing in sub-zero temperatures last week, after a manager at Tesco Extra in Hatfield asked them to leave the foyer where they had been collecting donations from customers.

The charity itself has refused to criticise the store – although appalled customers have not been quite as forgiving.

Anne Hamilton was leaving the store when she approached the freezing volunteers and asked them why they were standing in the cold.

She called the WHT to complain about their treatment at the hands of Tesco.

“They told me they’d been asked to leave the foyer by a manager, who said they were disrupting the customer flow,” she said.

“They showed me their booking forms, they had every right to be there. I used to be a volunteer myself and it isn’t nice having to stand in the cold.”

Volunteer Derek Curtis, 61, said he’d been standing in the foyer of the supermarket off Oldings roundabout for around 20 minutes when he and a female colleague were asked to go outside by one of the managers.

“One of the managers at first told us to stand right at the back of the foyer,” Mr Curtis said. “Then another manager told us to stand outside.”

Asked if he thought if they had been disturbing customers, Mr Curtis replied: “I wouldn’t have said so.”

But he added: “I wouldn’t worry about it. We can still collect for charity. Usually we’re allowed in the foyer but if Tesco don’t want us in, they don’t want us in.”

A spokesman for Children’s Aid said it was up to the supermarket as to whether or not their volunteers could stand in the foyer.

A spokesman for Tesco refused to be drawn on the issue, simply saying: “We support a number of charities and on this particular occasion we were very pleased to have the charity at our store.”

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