Charity says cheques should stay

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ONE of the country’s oldest charities has welcomed the government’s decision to review the abolition of cheques.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, based in Chichester, which supports impoverished former seafarers, is calling for cheques not to be scrapped as 60 per cent of its donations come in this form.

In December 2009, the Payments Council announced that cheques would be phased out by October 2018.

But, following pressure from consumer groups, cheques could be reprieved as a result of a Treasury Select Committee inquiry.

The inquiry is being chaired by Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie.

Commodore Malcolm Williams, chief executive of the 172-year-old Society, said: ‘Around 60 per cent of all our donations and sales rely on cheques. But the issue goes beyond a purely financial one.

‘Cheques serve a greater purpose to our charity. We pay the majority of our beneficiaries by cheque and this allows face-to-face contact with our volunteers who are able to identify any additional needs. Our beneficiaries are often isolated in the wider community and removing this contact would not be helpful.’