Charity counts the cost after market stall error

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A CHARITY, which provides support for people with breathing difficulties, is upset following a mistake which left them without use of the Wisbech charity stall.

As a result, the charity says it missed out on raising several hundreds of pounds after having little choice but to give clothing items to another charity rather than try to take it all back.

Fenland District Council has apologised for the error and a spokesperson told the Citizen someone would be in touch over the lost sales.

Sylvia Mansfield, group organiser and chairman of the Breathe Easy Fenland group, said this is the second time the group has had a problem with the charity stall.

The group had booked the Market Place stall for June 30 but turned up to find no stall on which to display the car loads of items people had collected for them.

“We had no alternative but to give everything to the only charity shop that was open at that time in the morning, leave a member to hopefully contact members who were due to arrive, then drive home and phone round to others to apologise,” said Sylvia.

“We estimate that, had we sold everything at just £1, we could have received several hundred pounds towards our running costs,” she added.

Sylvia said the booking with Fenland Council was diaried for March market and not Wisbech, despite the charity receiving a confirmation letter for the Wisbech stall and a telephone call before to confirm they still wanted it.

Despite the disappointment, Sylvia wants to thank the many people who had helped store and donate clothing for the past year.

“I must also thank members who, despite their many different and varying degrees of lung disease, have collected these, stored, laundered them, bagged up, boxed up and in cars and on foot, have taken them to the market for sale.”

Sylvia said one member attended with her oxygen, another had a leg in plaster and another who had undergone a serious operation.

She said some market traders did try to help them out with the offer of wooden stands.

A spokesperson for Fenland Council said:

““This was a regrettable mistake on our part. When it came to light on the day, we were unfortunately unable to erect a stall at short notice because the van that holds it was not on site.

“We have apologised to Breathe Easy and will be in touch with them to discuss some compensation for their lost sales.”

• The Breathe Easy support group meets at St Peter’s Church Hall, March at 2pm on the first Thursday of each month for anyone who wants to join.