Royal British Legion’s record-breaking bid for Appeal

COLLECTORS have launched their bid to make this year’s Poppy Appeal the best ever.

Ambitious volunteers in Ely, Soham, Littleport and Sutton think they can top last year’s �550,000 total for Cambridgeshire despite the country’s financial woes.

Even with cutbacks to pay packets and fewer spare pennies, organisers believe donors won’t hold back their cash when it comes to honouring Britain’s fallen soldiers and wounded armed service personnel.

Recent conflicts in Iraq an Afghanistan underline just how important it is for people to help with injured soldiers rehabilitation and care.

Sutton Royal British Legion (RBL) chairman Bob Mansfield admitted: “There may be a bit of a drop off in fundraising this year but we know the British public and they give without question.

“Even if they cannot turn up to events or give as much as they would like people make sure they give something, even if it is only 50p. A pound might not seem much but when put together with all the other pounds, it makes a lot of difference.”

Ron Bidwell, from Littleport RBL, believes there will be “no significant change” from previous years.

Most Read

“It makes a lot of difference when there are soldiers being killed in Afghanistan at this time,” he said. ”We don’t think people will hold back.”

Events this year include a silence at the war memorial in Parsons Lane, Littleport on Thursday, November 11 and a wreath laying at the town’s war memorial afterwards.

On Sunday, November 14 the town will gather at 10.45am for a remembrance service ay St George’s Church before a march to the war memorial to lay more wreaths. There will be a band concert later in the evening.

In Soham, the Sunday parade will assemble at Sand Street at 2pm before a remembrance service at 3pm in St Andrew’s Church.

Meanwhile a short service will be held at Ely war memorial on Thursday before the main parade from St Mary’s Street at 10.10am on Sunday, ready for the cathedral service at 10.30am.

Poppy Appeal community fundraiser Adele Richmond said: “The past nine years of conflict have increased the need for our help both today and for years to come.

“Despite the current economic times, we trust people will show their sympathy and support for those who have sacrificed on behalf of their country.”