Poppy Appeal set for record figures

By Ian Dipple Friday 03 January 2014 Updated: 03/01 16:10

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Buy photos » Brian Parkinson, from Astwood Bank Royal British Legion, celebrates the success of the 2013 Poppy Appeal. Picture by Marcus Mingins 5113009MMR

A SURGE in public support has set the Poppy Appeal on course for a record breaking year.

The majority of branches of the Royal British Legion across Worcestershire are reporting an increase in donations following the conclusion of last year’s Remembrance commemorations.

Although an official figure will not be know until later this year, it does look set to top the £500,000 plus raised across Worcestershire in 2012.

In Redditch the 2013 Poppy Appeal raised £19,200, slightly up on the previous 12 months. The campaign was supported by a number of town organisations including the army cadets who raised £1,200 in the town centre in just one day.

Peter Styler, chairman of the Redditch branch of the RBL and Poppy Appeal organiser, said he was delighted but the rise was unexpected.

“Last year we did £19,000 and I did not think we would get anywhere near it with how the financial situation is across the country so it’s amazing,” he said.

“There were so many young people that came and put money in. I’d like to thank the people of Redditch for all their kindness. It is a wonderful achievement.”

The Astwood Bank branch, which also covers Crabbs Cross, Oakenshaw and Hunt End, set a record breaking total as well raising £20,300.

David Waldron, chairman of the Worcestershire RBL, said it was difficult to explain the increase.

“I don’t know whether it’s because of the 100th anniversary of the First World War in 2014 or whether it’s just more in the public’s mind, it’s a job to say,” he said.

“2011 was the record year but that was our 90th anniversary so you expect it but it looks like it is going the right way to be better than last year.”

It was a similar story across the border in neighbouring Warwickshire the Studley branch where poppy appeal organiser Steve Noakes is also reporting donations up to £3,900. It follows a record turnout at the village parade on Remembrance Sunday.

In Alcester £11,000 has been raised but appeal organiser David Malin said there was still money to come in and other events planned which could mean the final amount matches the £13,100 collected in 2012.

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