We Need More Foot Soliders For Poppy Appeal Says British Legion

PUBLISHED: 09:20 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:35 04 May 2010

collectors outside Tesco

collectors outside Tesco

THE City of Ely Royal British Legion s (RBL) annual Poppy Appeal was launched at Tesco on October 25 and street collections will begin on Saturday in Ely city centre. The RBL says it desperately needs more volunteers to help keep the appeal going as many

THE City of Ely Royal British Legion's (RBL) annual Poppy Appeal was launched at Tesco on October 25 and street collections will begin on Saturday in Ely city centre.

The RBL says it desperately needs more volunteers to help keep the appeal going as many of the current volunteers are retiring from active duty and are not being replaced by the younger generation.

Polly Perkins, City of Ely Royal British Legion secretary said: "It is difficult to get younger people to join the Legion. People often have too much to do and too many commitments already. Although everyone in Ely is very generous in the amount of money they give to the Appeal, we need more foot soldiers on the ground."

Last year the Poppy Appeal in Ely raised £17,000 and Mrs Perkins hopes a similar amount will be raised this year, despite the economic downturn.

Poppy Appeal organiser for City of Ely, Clare Montgomery, said: "We always need more helpers. Our rota is pretty full and some people are working double shifts, especially on some of the evening slots in Tesco. Many people undertook the house-to-house collections in their area but as they get older they feel it is not so safe to go out in the dark and no one is replacing them."

Nationwide, The Royal British Legion is seeking a new generation of volunteers for its Poppy People campaign. The generous donation of your time is the most critical factor in the success of the annual Poppy Appeal.

Poppy People give anything from two hours to two weeks of their time to collect on streets, shops and workplaces across the country. Local organisers, drivers, poppy distributors and volunteer counters are also needed. Everyone can get involved, and your contribution can really make a difference to serving and ex-Service people in need.

The Air Cadets and the Army Cadets will be helping out with collections on Saturday but if you would like to give a hand please contact Clare Montgomery on 01353 661894

The RBL is attracting donations from young people by using modern technology to make giving easier.

The Poppy Download enables the public to make donations via their mobile phone. Anyone doing so receives a poppy for their mobile phone wallpaper for a cost of £1.50. Text 'POPPY' to 80848.

You can give a virtual poppy on Facebook by visiting http://apps.facebook.com/poppies/. Or bid online for special poppy brooches in the RBL Auction Room, operated by Auctionair.

Photo: HELEN DRAKE

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Pic cap: Father and daughter John Hobson and Debbie White manning the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal stand at Tesco earlier this week. More volunteers are needed to help collect donations in the area.

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