Children in Need volunteers and life-sized Pudsey turned away from St Neots Train Station


Pudsey - Credit: Archant

Volunteers collecting for Children in Need were turned away from St Neots Train Station this morning after mean-spirited staff refused to allow them on the premises.


Pudsey - Credit: Archant

Members of the St Neots Round Table, including a life-sized Pudsey Bear, arrived at 6am with their collection buckets, but were turned away, despite having being assured on several ocassions that they would be allowed to collect money for the national charity.

Round Table chairman Sam Haddadi said he spoke to staff at the station in October and was told to email the station manager and assured the collection would be able to go ahead, but when the team arrived this morning they were told they did not have permission and were asked to leave.

“We didn’t expect to be able to just turn up, but we have contacted St Neots Train Station on five occasions, including sending two emails, and were told ‘someone will definitely get back to you’ but when they didn’t we decided to go along this morning, hoping the station manager would have responded.

“Several of us took time off work today to do this and it is just so disappointing and frustrating. We got up early so that we could catch the morning rush-hour. Last year we raised £600 for Children in Need visiting pubs in the evening and we were hoping to raise £1,000 this year.”

Sam and the other volunteers will be visited pubs in St Neots tonight to collect money for Children in Need.

Great Northern, the company who operates St Neots Train Station, did say the volunteers could return to the station and when it was pointed out that they had missed the morning rush-hour, the company said it would make a donation to Children in Need.

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A Great Northern spokesperson said: “At this stage, we are not sure why this has worked out in the way it has and we will investigate in order to get to the bottom of it. However, in the meantime, the St Neots Round Table are welcome to return to the station and collect for this important charity, and we will of course make a donation to Children in Need via the St Neots Round Table.”