‘Army’ of volunteers formed to save Eastbourne Poppy Appeal

Volunteers teamed up this weekend to save Eastbourne's Poppy Appeal
Volunteers teamed up this weekend to save Eastbourne's Poppy Appeal

An ‘army’ of new Royal British Legion recruits flooded into town over the weekend after calls for much-needed help for the Poppy Appeal.

The Eastbourne area now has more than 30 new volunteers who managed to deliver 300 poppy boxes around town on Saturday (November 5).

Even Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell joined in to lend her support.

This comes after the Herald reported last week that the local Poppy Appeal was struggling due to a lack of coordinator and shortage of volunteers.

Dave Smedley, former coordinator at the Royal British Legion Eastbourne branch, had heart failure last Christmas and stepped down from his role.

But no-one was assigned to replace him and there were few volunteers to lend their support.

It seemed this year’s appeal was in crisis and that poppy distribution would be low.

But now the charity has plenty of new recruits and someone has even come forward to take on the role of coordinator.

Sonja Moss, Community Fundraiser for Eastbourne Royal British Legion, said, “On Saturday we had a fantastic response from the public and had many volunteers turn out to help us distribute the remaining boxes out into the town.

“I am extremely thankful to all those who turned out and worked hard for such a great cause. The support we have received is incredible.

“The volunteers came from all over Sussex county to help us and we have a large number of new volunteers for the area for next year and a new Poppy Appeal organiser to ensure the continuation of the poppy appeal in Eastbourne in future years.

“If anyone else wishes to volunteer for us in the area next year they can get in touch with myself via email to be added to our volunteer listing.”

The Royal British Legion is a charity that provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community by helping men and women, veterans, and their families.

The Poppy Appeal is the Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign held every year in November, the period of Remembrance.

Each year, volunteers distribute paper poppies throughout the country, collecting donations in return to help support the work the Royal British Legion does for the Armed Forces community. The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance, to remember the fallen service men and women killed in conflict.

Those who wish to help out can call the Eastbourne Royal British Legion branch on 01323 417625, email smoss@britishlegion.org.uk or visit it at Unit 3E of Southbourne Business Park.