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British Legion hopes to keep roaring trade

POPPY PRIDE: 90 year old Kathleen Barsley, poppy rota organiser, Royal British Legion, Spalding.

POPPY PRIDE: 90 year old Kathleen Barsley, poppy rota organiser, Royal British Legion, Spalding.

For the fourth year in a row the East Midlands has broken The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal £2.5 million mark with over a quarter of that raised in Lincolnshire.

But six months into the appeal Peter Lyon, from the Legion’s Spalding branch, fears their contribution to that total will be less than in the past.

Peter said: “This year isn’t as good but coming out of the recession I expected that.”

Last year the branch raised more than £25,000, but with five months to go their current total sits at just over £20,000.

Peter said: “What we need is another occasion with a large footfall to replace the flower parade.”

He said it’s difficult because they don’t want to saturate the public throughout the year and endanger the strong support received during the Remembrance weeks.

Peter fears for the future too and worries the distribution teams during this period are in jeopardy.

Next year’s appeal will be his sixth campaign and says, while he’s seen a splendid job done in the last five years, most of the team are over the age of 60 and new volunteers to deliver and collect locally would be a great help.

Claire Rowcliffe, interim head of regional fundraising at the Legion, said: “Every penny raised will make a huge difference to service personnel, veterans and their families.

“We helped nearly 3,000 beneficiaries in the East Midlands last year.”

Other fund raising initiatives are run alongside the Poppy Appeal such as tombolas, challenges and poppy shops.

Peter said: “We saw roaring trade during the Remembrance weeks.

“We had a range of new goods this year.”

Particularly popular were the Buckley Brooches which Peter said “went quick as anything”.

 

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