Poppy Appeal off to a good start

Poppy appeal launch at Ilkeston's M&S Food with British Legion members and Rotary Club members.
Poppy appeal launch at Ilkeston's M&S Food with British Legion members and Rotary Club members.

Organisers of this year’s Poppy Appeal in Ilkeston are hoping that they can raise at least as much as last year and continue to do their bit to support the Armed Forces family.

A concert hosted by the Royal British Legion’s Women’s Section saw the local 2012 appeal officially launched on the last weekend of October.

Malcolm Jarvis, poppy appeal organiser at the Ilkeston Branch of the RBL, said that the event, which also included performances by Ilkeston Theatre Group and Ilkeston Brass, went ‘really, really well’.

“It was well attended and we are waiting to finalise exactly how much was raised,” he said.

“It was a good start to this year’s appeal.”

The familiar red poppies are now available at shops all over the town, with volunteers setting up stall at stores such as Aldi, Tesco, Co-op, B&M and Marks and Spencer.

Cadets have also been out at Ilkeston Market Place to sell poppies and will be there again this Saturday.

Last year the local appeal raised more than £31,000 and it is hoped that even in continuing hard financial times, residents will dig deep and help to at least match this amount.

Said Mr Jarvis: “We obviously hope that it’s going to at least be levelled. Every penny is needed.”

The RBL provides practical care, advice and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.

The Poppy Appeal is the Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign and this year it is aiming to raise a massive £42m across the whole country.

The Rotary Club of Ilkeston is also lending its support to the Poppy Appeal, as are other Rotary Clubs across the country, with Rotarians volunteering at the RBL collections.

President Mike Perry said: “We already have a good working relationship with the RBL.

“We fully support them and are pleased to be out there selling poppies.”