When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
POPPY APPEAL: Pinning our hopes on raising £470k
Buy this photo » Jim Lewendon of the Royal British Legion selling poppies by Carfax Tower in Oxford. Pictures: Andrew Walmsley
PEOPLE are being urged to help smash the £470,000 barrier as this year’s Poppy Appeal gets under way.
From tomorrow, an army of hundreds of collectors will be out in force across the country selling poppies.
Last year, the Oxfordshire Royal British Legion Appeal raised £455,095 to help injured and retired servicemen.
But organisers are urging people across the county to help them break that total.
Nationally, the appeal’s theme this year is family – and the important role forces’ families have.
Community fundraiser for Oxfordshire, Laura Laffan, said the Legion spent £1.6m a week helping families across the country.
And she said the charity hopes to raise £37m UK-wide.
She said: “Every poppy helps us to support the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families, raising the £1.6m needed every week to deliver our welfare support.
“The money raised in Oxfordshire and across the country helps the Armed Forces family in a number of ways, whether it is helping a family to go on a family break, so they can get away and share quality time together, helping bereaved families get the support they deserve at inquest through our Independent Inquest Advice Service, or helping families manage their finances and get their full entitlements through our benefits and money advice.
“Last year the people of Oxfordshire helped to raise more than £455,000 and this year we are hoping to beat that and raise £470,000.”
Chairman of Oxfordshire Royal British Legion, Jim Lewendon, said the Poppy Appeal was a success thanks to the collectors.
He said: “Poppy collectors all come out of the woodwork.
“It’s so very important to them because they know where the money is going, that it helps these young lads who come back with terrible injuries.
“I would say we have several hundred people collecting in Oxfordshire.
“They are very, very important people – and some of them are quite elderly.”
Oxford’s Lord Mayor, Dee Sinclair, has urged people to wear their poppy with pride and mark Remembrance Sunday.
She said: “It’s really important we continue to remember the people who have died to make sure we are able to live in peace.”
FACTS AND FIGURES OVER THE YEARS
What the Royal British Legion Oxfordshire has raised in the last five years:
- 2012/13 – £455,095.32
- 2011/12 – £492,189.15
- 2010/11 – £448,353.91
- 2009/10 – £434,892.44
- 2008/09 – £401,302.30
The Oxfordshire RBL record year was 2011/12 which coincided with the organisation’s 90th anniversary.
The Poppy symbol was adopted by the Royal British Legion in 1921 soon after its formation. The poppy bloomed in some of the worst battlefields and was recognised in Canadian surgeon John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields.
It came to represent the sacrifice of those who died in the First World War and subsequent conflicts.
This year’s national Poppy Appeal was launched with a concert for thousands of service personnel and their families at RAF Northolt in West London.
The RBL’s national fundraising target for 2013 is £37m.
As well as poppies, the RBL sells a host of poppy products. This year the Buckley Crystal Poppy Brooch, priced at £15, is expected to sell well. There are also mugs, hoodies, rugby shirts, cufflinks, earrings, diaries, umbrellas, cards and CDs.
- Anyone who would like to help with the appeal should call 01844 261759 or email volunteer2@ britishlegion.org.uk
Comments are closed on this article.