Frequently asked questions about collections

Volunteering to collect is a fun, easy way to make a big difference to families facing the toughest of times. Read some useful information on preparing for your collection, what to do during your collection and what to do with the funds you've collected after your collection finishes.

Collecting as a group with friends or family is a great way to get out and about in your community.

Preparing for your collection

You can choose your collection slot using our new online booking system. Simply fill in the form with your details and pick your preferred date and time. Alternatively you can call 0845 601 3107* to book a slot.

*Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Your call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

If you signed up online, and provided an email address, you should get an email confirming your sign up. If you’ve chosen not to give us your email address, we’ll send you a letter, which can take up to seven days. If you don’t receive the letter, then please call us on 0845 601 3107*.

*Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Your call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

When you sign up online, you can choose when and where you will be collecting. We’ll send you an email (or letter, if we don’t have your email address) reminding you of these details and telling you anything else you need to know.

Yes, we’ll send you an email (or letter, if we don’t have your email address) confirming the time of your collection. It’s a good idea to get there about 10 minutes before you are due to start collecting.

Once you sign up to collect, you will receive a handy pocket guide to collecting either via email or in the post. You can use this link to download it now   (PDF 163KB). We’ve also got lots of advice on our web pages, including top tips.

Some collections have a volunteer host who meets and greets collectors on the day and provides them with materials and information. If your collection doesn’t have a host, we will send you everything you need before your collection. You may also receive a briefing call from your local Marie Curie fundraising office. Your confirmation email or letter will include the details of your collection host or fundraiser in case you need to get in touch.

We try and get as many people as possible to our collections, so we hope you won’t be collecting alone. However, there are instances where you might be the only person at a collector location. If you’d prefer not to be by yourself, why not ask a friend or family member to sign up   so you can collect together?

Contact your collection host or fundraiser (their phone number will be on the confirmation email or letter you receive) to explain that you won’t be able to attend.

If you are taking part in one of our hosted collections, your host will give you everything you need when you arrive. There won’t always be somewhere to put valuables, so we suggest you only bring the bare essentials with you. If you are taking part in an unhosted collection, we will send you all your materials in the post beforehand.

We would definitely encourage you to bring someone else – the more people we have supporting us, the more money we are able to raise. If you are bringing someone else, please ask them to sign up online or call 0845 601 3107* to book on to a collection.

Please be aware that children are not allowed to collect any actual money (the legal age for collecting is 16), but they are welcome to come along and keep you company.

Dogs are always a fun to bring along, but please check with your fundraiser that your collection point is appropriate for animals (ie is outside).

*Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Your call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

Make sure you are ready for all weathers – it can be quite chilly so wrap up warm. A splash of yellow is always nice, but we will supply you with a yellow hat and a tabard so everyone will know you’re collecting for Marie Curie.

The hat isn’t compulsory but it’s a great talking point and we know that those who wear them definitely raise more money, so we would encourage you to wear it where possible.

Absolutely not – if you're uncomfortable at any point then please take a break and sit down. It is important that you look after yourself while collecting.

Collection bucket for Marie Curie

During your collection

You will be given their phone number before the day. Please make sure you take it with you so you can give them a call.

The best thing to do is speak to your community fundraiser who will contact the store or local authority. And keep fundraising in the meantime!

If you have provided your email address, then we’ll email you a link to download our handy pocket guide, which includes lots of top tips and answers to frequently asked questions. If we don’t have your email address, we will send you the guide in the post.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to find a place where people are likely to have cash to hand. Good spots include shops where people pay with cash, such as greengrocers and bakeries, and supermarket trolley pick-up areas.

It’s best practice not to shake the tin and sometimes local councils insist that you don’t.

Take the approach you feel most comfortable with and that works best for you. It’s important that you engage with people but without obstructing them.

You can certainly talk about the collection, but it’s best not to shout. You’ll get a feel for how individual people like to be approached.

After your collection

If you are collecting at one of our volunteer-hosted collections, please leave the money with the collection host who will count and bank it for you. If your collection is unhosted, you will need to count the money, complete the counting form, pay the funds in to the bank (using the paying-in slip supplied) and then return the paying-in slip stub and counting form to your local fundraising office. We will send you this paperwork, with clear instructions, when we send you your collection materials.

Book on to another collection! We also have a variety of different volunteer roles available in each area. Have a look at what’s available near you or speak to your local fundraiser.

Yes, we will send you a letter within four weeks of your collection telling you how much you have raised.

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