BodyPREPARATION for the annual Newbury Poppy Appeal – run by the Royal British Legion – is well under way, ahead of its launch in the third week of October.
In 2016, Newbury raised £65,000 for the appeal and this year it is hoped that figure will be exceeded.
The money goes to the Royal British Legion, which provides support for the armed forces community (both former and serving), including housing, mental health and employment.
Newbury Poppy Appeal organiser Angela Logue said: “Poppy sales are still on the increase every year.
“I have already driven more than 200 miles delivering poppies to schools in the area.
“Junior schools have also been sent packs so they can make their own poppies which will be displayed at the racecourse.
“Some of the schools are also going to be doing portraits for us.”
The youngest member of Newbury Royal British Legion, 11-year-old Darcy Hunt, is planning a sponsored swim to raise money for the appeal and said: ”The Legion Club is fun and it’s a good way to socialise with older and younger people.”
Branch secretary Keith Williams said: “It’s people like Darcy who are the future of the British Legion. The younger generation.”
Club secretary Ken Warburton said: “The Newbury club needs more members and we are looking for younger members in particular.
“We run a number of family-orientated events, games nights, adventure training and trail training.”
A long-term member of the Royal British Legion, Derek Milam, said: “The Legion is based on welfare.
“I’m very concerned about people living in isolation. I visit them at home and sit and talk to them for half and hour or so which makes a difference.
“Ex-servicemen are more likely to open up to me as an ex-serviceman.”
The Remembrance Poppy was inspired by the World War One poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. The first Poppy Day was held in Britian on November 11, 1921.
To join the Newbury Royal British Legion, or to volunteer for the Newbury Poppy Appeal, telephone 01635 47415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org