Calls for Asda boycott after charity donation box removed

Barby Keel and some of the team at Barby Keel's Animal Sanctuary. SUS-160224-115103001
Barby Keel and some of the team at Barby Keel's Animal Sanctuary. SUS-160224-115103001

The founder of a much-loved animal sanctuary is calling on her supporters to boycott Asda in protest against the company’s decision to remove charity donation boxes from its stores.

The Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary has had a collection box in the St Leonards branch of Asda for several years, collecting items for the animals being cared for at the sanctuary in Freezeland Lane.

But last week the supermarket giant announced a national change in policy, with donation boxes for good causes, including food banks and animal charities, removed from shop floors across the country.

A frustrated Barby told the Observer: “It’s had a big effect on us, like everyone else.

“We used to get seven or eight trays a week from there and that’s why I cannot understand stopping it as the money was going in their tills.”

Barby added that she was ‘more annoyed’ about the fact the Hastings Foodbank box had also been removed from the branch.

As a result of the policy, Barby says many of the sanctuary’s supporters have vowed to take their business elsewhere.

She said: “We are telling everyone to boycott them.

“I used to buy a lot of things in Asda and I won’t go back there now.

“All the people that work here do not go to Asda anymore.

“I always used to go to Asda, but now I will give all my support to Sainsbury’s.”

She added: “I don’t know what’s the matter with them.

“It’s their loss.”

Barby says that even if Asda did a U-turn on its decision, she would not want the box returned to the store.

The charity also has collection bins at Sainsbury’s stores in Bexhill and Hastings and ESK in Hastings.

An Asda spokesman said: “Asda plays an important role in the communities we serve. We know we can make a huge difference to local charities, and our customers and colleagues are generous when it comes to supporting their local communities, which is why we try to make sure we host a variety of good causes in our stores.

“We’ve recently reviewed the Asda Community programme and are investing an extra £2m into local good causes through the Asda Foundation.

“We’re also introducing some new processes and guidelines to make it fair and consistent for all the great charities we support and to enable our Community Champions to make the best use of their time.

“Collections are very welcome if volunteers are on hand to explain to customers where their donations are going, which we also know can increase the amount of donations given.”

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