Chippenham school halts sale of sex toy
School bosses have spoken of their horror and surprise after discovering a sex toy being advertised on a fundraising website.
Abbeyfield School in Chippenham, in common with at least 22 others across the county, benefits from commission on sales of gifts from spendandraise.com.
A former Abbeyfield pupil contacted the Gazette after she had been browsing the site and found a a Minx Rabbit vibrator advertised next to the school’s logo in the gifts, gadgets and toys section.
The woman, who lives in Calne, said: “I was disgusted that it had Abbeyfield at the top of the page. When I went to the school we were blocked from accessing pornography sites or anything like that. “It’s a good price though, only £21.”
Friends of Hardenhuish School and some Wiltshire primary schools also have an account with Spend and Raise, which collects commissions from retailers each time a purchase is made when directed from the schools’ sites.
Clicking on the Buy link redirected the consumer to the I Want One Of Those website, where a customer review of the vibrator, from a 45 to 54-year-old woman, declares: “WOW... what more can I say...”. Described as “the home of fantastic Father's Day and Mother’s Day gifts”, iwantoneofthose.com gives schools 4.5 per cent commission on toys purchased through its eStore.
Abbeyfield whose specialism is business and enterprise, was horrified to learn of the link and took steps to have it removed.
Headteacher David Nicholson said: “We don’t control what’s on there; perhaps we ought to. Lots of schools are signed up to it. I will contact Spend and Raise to let them know it is not appropriate and get it taken off.”
School business manager Lorna Lumb said: “We were very surprised and completely unaware that a product of this nature had become available through the Spend and Raise fundraising website. This product did not appear on the school website and was not accessible to pupils.
“In Wiltshire alone there are 22 other schools currently using this fundraising site, who I am sure will be as horrified as we are to see this product appear and possibly linked to their school.
“We will not be renewing the link with Spend and Raise and do not condone products of this nature being linked with a school with such an excellent reputation.”
A spokesman for the service said: “The retailer didn’t originally have this product but it has since been added. Due to resources we can’t keep checking sites all the time, but we will react if we are notified. We cannot remove individual items so unfortunately we have to take down the retailer.”
Spend and Raise and has so far helped to raise more than £50 for Abbeyfield and more than £273 for Hardenhuish school funds.
Hardenhuish business manager Linda Stuart said: “The school was unaware that it was linked to this retailer or that they sold this type of item. We are very happy that it has been removed.”