SOMERSET wine tutor Linda Vijeh was left scratching her head when she was politely told ‘thanks, but no thanks’ by Alcoholics Anonymous after she tried to give the charity a donation of nearly £200.

Linda, who is also a councillor on South Somerset District Council and Ilminster Town Council, is well-known for her fundraising work and decided to give up wine for six weeks for charity.

She raised £192, not by sponsorship, but by the amount she would have spent on the equivalent of one glass of wine a day.

She said: “It seemed appropriate to donate the money to the AA, but I couldn’t find a way to donate online, so I asked a friend to go along to one of their meetings.

“She was informed that they only take donations from members.”

Roger Booth, general secretary of Alcoholics Anonymous, confirmed that the charity did not accept donations from outside the group.

“AA is unique among charities because it doesn’t accept outside contributions because of the principle we hold of being self-supporting,” he said.

“This tradition of self-support is underpinned by the Alcoholics Anonymous (Dispositions) Act of 1986 and ensures that AA is supported solely through the voluntary contributions of members – therefore, AA does not fundraise.”

Linda has donated her £192 to Val Keitch and the Community Justice Panel, which needs outside financial support.

“I decided to support the justice panel on the grounds that a lot of crime is due to alcohol abuse,” said Linda.