Volunteer steps forward to save Uckfield Poppy Appeal

A volunteer has come forward at the last minute to ensure Uckfield Poppy Appeal goes ahead this year.

Royal British Legion branch secretary Norman Mayes had feared Uckfield would end up without any poppies on sale or wreaths to lay at the war memorial on Remembrance Sunday because a Poppy Appeal organiser could not be found.

But now a volunteer has offered to do the job and today Norman will be contacting the Poppy Appeal Regional Administrator to get things confirmed.

He says that if the applicant is accepted then he will be able to sleep at nights again.

Desperate

Norman had said the situation was getting desperate and while he could organise the town’s annual parade to Holy Cross Church as usual he feared the participants would arrive there empty handed.

He said the Royal British Legion’s community fund-raiser based at Brighton was expected to have sorted something out three years ago but it still hadn’t happened.

Norman, an appeal organiser himself for several years, stepped in temporarily last year but the job is too much for him alongside his secretary role.

Older

He told Uckfield News: “Normally we would expect somebody from within the British Legion branch to step forward but we are all getting older and it does take a lot of organising, and you have got to have storage space for the poppies.”

The Poppy Appeal organiser is responsible for ordering all the materials for the appeal, storing them, contacting all the volunteers and the businesses that take them in trays.

At the end of the Remembrance period they gather the collection boxes, arrange for the money to be counted and get everything returned.

Help

Norman previously told Uckfield News: “They would get help, of course, from the likes of me, but the situation is getting urgent now because until the Poppy Appeal organiser is in place nothing can be ordered in the way of poppies or wreaths.

He added: “I am very concerned. It would be disastrous if we don’t have a Poppy Appeal here this year. We will be letting the beneficiaries down and it would leave a bad taste in the mouths of everybody in Uckfield because we do have lots of support from everybody in the community.”

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