I don't know what it is that attracts me to them, but i do seem to be a regular target for the Chuggers, or Charity Muggers, that hang around shopping centres these days.
Usually wearing bright coloured t-shirts with the name of the chosen Charity who have employed them today specifically to harass me with their over the top patter, it is becoming harder and harder to avoid them, especially when they physically block your path like the one who tried to stop me today and asked me if i wanted a hug.
The reply to my polite but firm 'no thank you' was that he was collecting for Cancer Research and did i not care that thousands of children die each year from Cancer when for just £5 a month i could...his plea fell on deaf ears as i just carried on walking and pretended to be interested in the contents of Sports Direct's window display.
I know tomorrow it will be another charity and a new, fresh faced chugger who will some smile and invite me to sign over my direct-debit details so my £5 a month donation can help fund Cancer research or Save Children which it probably will, after the money paid to the Chuggers agency has been paid off that is.
Charities pay between £100-£140 to private contractors for every direct debit secured by the High Street fundraisers so my £5 will only go to the Charity that i signed up for after approximately 20 months so if i cancel my direct debit before that time, the Charity loses out.
The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association admit that Chuggers are paid and are not volunteers and even compares them to call centre staff which will be worth remembering the next time one of them asks you to fund a homeless shelter or give money to the Heart Foundation because they will get your money. Once the Chugger has been paid and their employer has taken their commission that is.
If you do feel the urge to give to Charity and you want them to receive your money immediately and not in 18 months time, do it through the Charities website and cut out the middleman. If enough people do it then hopefully we won't be faced with trying to pick our way around the overly enthusiastic Chuggers wanting to give out hugs before they get you to pay their wages.