GENUINE charity volunteers are being turned away from Southend pubs and events because of fake collectors taking advantage of customer’s generosity.

Sheray Bontiff, 27, who fundraises for the National Kidney Foundation and needs a new kidney herself, claims the charity is losing hundreds of pounds in donations due to the fake collections.

Sheray, who has been waiting nine years for a kidney transplant, said: “I go and collect with my mum when I can, it’s difficult when the dialysis takes it out of me.

“I was diagnosed when I was ten and had a failed operation a year later.

Her mother, and head of collections Bernadette Bontiff, said: “We always had permission to go and collect in the pubs and at festivals but now they’re turning us away.

“They’re all tarring us with the same brush.

“We’re not fake, we’re genuine.”

Peter Revell, head of fundraising at the charity, said: “It’s really disappointing and it’s really damaging for us.

“We’re losing vital funds.

“I’m worried that we won’t be able to come back from this.”

Southend Council is considering banning rogue collectors from the town centre.

Councillor Martin Terry, who is responsible for community safety, promised it would only impact “disreputable” collectors.

“Organisations will be able to contact the council and hold petition days, events and collections,” he said.

“This is focussed on those who turn up on the High Street ad-hoc, who are often from disreputable organisations where rather than the money going to charity is goes to the company.”

Earlier this month the Youth Cancer Trust, a genuine national charity, claimed a group of people were touring around pretending to be connected to con people out of cash.

Georgina Hillman, administration manager for the charity, based in Bournemouth, said the fake collectors have created clothes and collection boxes with the charity’s branding.