High Street collections from Britain’s top public schools have raised millions of pounds over the weekend, ending any doubt as to whether elitist institutions such as Eton and Harrow deserved their charitable status.
Ordinary shoppers, spotting the collection tins being shaken on behalf of the private schools, went straight past volunteers collecting for ‘less deserving charities’ like Age Concern and Oxfam and rushed to stuff five pound notes in the tins of the young toffs in top hat and tails.
‘I only give to certain charities’ said Tina Cruddock, 32 mother of three who lives on a council estate in Dudley. ‘But when I heard the master of one of them posh schools talking about what marvellous charity work they do for kids whose parents can only afford twenty grand a year; well we rushed down here to give ’em all our spare pennies.’
Other charities collecting on behalf of children with cystic fibrosis or autism are coming under pressure to hand over some of their money to the top private schools. Bob Geldof is rumoured to be planning another charity single and Wembley Concert.
‘Charities like Winchester School and Roedean are doing fantastic work, but they need more help,’ said the former Third World campaigner. ‘There are girls out there who can’t afford to keep their ponies with them at boarding school. Young boys with barely enough bread rolls to throw around the restaurant. Please give what you can.’ The ‘Toff Aid’ single goes on sale tomorrow.