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A few words of caution and explanation . . .

Inaccuracies and errors

We've tried to ensure that the information on the website is accurate and up-to-date.

However, we can't guarantee that it's free of errors.  We won't be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error within these pages.

Decay (out-of-date information) - Bear in mind that most information decays (even if it's accurate when written) - it becomes progressively out-of-date.  Examples of this include links to other websites, names of organisations, contact details, legislation and statistics such as prices.  We do review each page from time-to-time - but it may be a while before we next do this.

Expertise - Everybody's depth of knowledge varies from subject to subject.  People have specialist expertise in some areas, but scant knowledge of other areas - those areas that are only on the fringe of their interests.  We've covered a wide range of subjects on the website.  We can speak with authority on some of them - but with other subjects we rely on research, and information from third parties.


With any subject - including law - there are :

  • generalisations - simple concepts and general principles, and then
  • complications - numerous qualifications, provisos and exceptions - the 'small print'.

It isn't practical to add all these complications to each topic, each time it's mentioned on the website.  It would make the text unreadable (or else require intrusive asterisks, footnotes and cross-references).  So, always assume that any statement we make has provisos, exceptions etc - especially in introductions, summaries and mentions-in-passing.

The more sections you look at on the site, the better the chance of coming across the complications which apply - such as different rules applying in different geographical areas.

Sometimes you can deduce things from the context - for instance where we refer repeatedly to 'collections' on a page like 'Law on house-to-house collections', it's implied that we're only referring to house-to-house collections, and not to 'street' collections.

Various terms have alternative definitions.

See the Definitions page for more information.

'Draft' status

Roadworks warning sign

We continue to maintain and develop the site, improving existing material and adding new material.

"Unfinished" pages - Ideally we wouldn't add anything to the site until it was finished.  However, occasionally we include unfinished material - so that people can see the information as soon as possible.  We do this when we judge that it's more useful for people to have the information (even though it is unfinished) than not to have it at all.

These unfinished pages (or parts of pages) are labelled "Draft" and/or are marked with an asterisk * ".  Please don't treat these sections as complete, fully checked or authoritative.

"Finished" pages - Because we provide most of our information via a website, we can continually improve the content.  So no page is ever fully finished and carved in stone.  This contrasts with conventional (printed) publishing - which relies on discrete, infrequent editions.

The approach, wording and explanations

We've tried to design the content of the site so that it's versatile, suitable for a variety of users including :

  • the public
  • charities
  • government
  • the media

Some users will be very familiar with charities, government, law and regulation, while other people will know little about these subjects.

Some users will be experts in computing and web skills; some will be novices.

We want to ensure that no-one feels excluded from the website because of lack of specialist knowledge.  So (for example) when we deal with a complex or specialist issue we often preface it with a basic introduction and provide links to other sections which help explain it.  However, this means that if you're an expert in any of the subjects, you may find our approach a bit pedestrian at times.  See also the Style page.

Web page layout, fonts, colours etc

Computer mouse

When designing each page, we try to get the layout etc correct (alignment, spacing, balance, contrast and so forth).

However, please bear in mind that when you browse a page, its appearance varies depending on your computer, screen, operating system, defaults, range of installed fonts, choice of browser, settings (eg screen resolution and colour depth), plugins etc.  We've no control over this.  For more information, see :

Cascading Style Sheets - CSS3:  We're adding CSS3 features.  As well as style, we're using CSS to add some 'generated content' - eg text (and images) via :before and :after.  Beware, if you use an old browser (eg IE7), you won't see any of this.

We've designed the site to work with PCs.  So far, we haven't amended it to work with tablets or smartphones.

Statistics - estimates

Calculator keyboard (James Gardiner)
a calculator

The website includes statistics.  Where we've produced the statistics ourselves, we've followed established, standard techniques.  Contact us if you want to know how we calculated any figure and what the assumptions were.

Bear in mind that many of the figures are estimates.

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So don't treat them as exact figures - allow a margin for error (depending on the context) - such as +/- 25%

See :

Scale of justice w204


Much of the information on this site concerns the law.  Some of us in CharityBags have experience of dealing with regulatory law in our former posts in government.  We dealt with solicitors on a day-to-day basis and we were involved in court cases and public inquiries.

However, this was not in the field of charities/charitable collections, and we're not qualified lawyers.

Variations across the UK

Union Jack flag

See the Variations across the UK page for differences depending on where you live.

Links to other websitesRed double-arrow

Many links in our site lead to websites maintained by other organisations.  They're provided for your convenience.

They don't imply that we endorse or support these organisations, the information on their pages, or their products or services.  No responsibility is assumed by us for the contents of their pages.

Conversely, the links don't imply that these organisations endorse or support us.

Errors - feedback welcomed

World globe and email

If you discover any information on our pages which you believe to be inaccurate or inappropriate, please contact us.

Please bear in mind that we run the website in our spare time and so we're not always able to amend the information immediately or to respond to emails straight away.

Related web pages

See for example :