Midcounties Cooperative Travel is embracing the true meaning of Boxing Day, by installing permanent currency collection boxes in their branches, with hopes to make a “positive change” for communities around the world.
Customers are being asked to check the backs of drawers and under sofas for foreign and old currency to donate to charity partner the Travel Foundation – which works to make sure tourism brings greater benefits for people and the environment.
The tradition of collection boxes extends to the Middle Ages, when churches displayed ‘alms boxes’ into which parishioners could donate coins for the less fortunate. The boxes were opened the day after Christmas – which gives us the name Boxing Day. This Christmas, more than 50 branches around the country will start their own collections – the main difference is that we’ll be collecting throughout the year, not just for Christmas.
Customers can donate unwanted currency during store opening hours in any denomination including obsolete coins and notes. 100 per cent of funds raised will support the work of the Travel Foundation.
Natalie Turner, head of branches at The Midcounties Co-operative Travel, said: “With over one billion international tourists packing their bags to go on holiday every year, tourism creates millions of jobs and contributes significantly to national and local economies. To continue seeing these benefits, it is increasingly important to promote and implement sustainable tourism measures in order to protect the holiday destinations we love visiting.
“We’re proud to be supporting The Travel Foundation this Christmas to help it continue its fantastic work in promoting sustainable tourism, which is something that’s really important to us.”
Graeme Jackson from the Travel Foundation said: “It’s been estimated that British holidaymakers have around £663 million in leftover foreign currency after holidays abroad, and there are also around 450 million old British Pounds still in circulation.
That’s a lot of unwanted cash which could help us to transform tourism, so that it protects fragile environments and creates sustainable livelihood opportunities for people around the world.”