THIS year’s Poppy Appeal is in full swing with Royal British Legion members and volunteers going all out to help raise this year’s national target of £40m.
In Stamford, house-to-house collections are taking place and volunteers are stationed in Waitrose and Morrisons supermarkets.
Funeral directors RJ Scholes, of St George’s Street, provided a stylish start to the appeal with a limousine, driven by senior branch manager Vic Woodward, helping organisers deliver scores of collecting boxes and other material to town centre outlets.
Stamford is hoping to make a significant contribution towards the £750,000 target for Lincolnshire.
Former branch secretary Steve Bonde said: “I think we had 60 to 70 deliveries to make all over the town centre and with parking being difficult, without the support of RJ Scholes it would probably take us well over a day. With Vic’s help we did it in about 90 minutes.”
He said the Poppy Appeal was getting more and more important every year.
“There have been something like 20,000 casualties from conflicts in the last decade and they and their dependents will need help and care for the rest of their lives,” he said.
RJ Scholes has provided support to the Stamford Poppy Appeal since 2005 and Mr Woodward said they were proud to be such a help in getting the Poppy Appeal started each year in Stamford.
A Poppy Appeal concert with Stamford Brass is being held at the Corn Exchange Theatre tomorrow night as the flagship fundraising event for this year.
The concert, which begins at 7.30pm, celebrates the Legion’s 90th anniversary. Tickets are £10 on the door or from 01780 766455.
An inauguration cere-mony for the Garden of Remembrance is being held tomorrow at the war memorial in Broad Street at 11am.
The Rev Canon Dr Donald Grey will lead the service which will include children from Stamford schools.
Next Friday, Armistice Day, there will be a service at the war memorial at 11am, again led by the Rev Canon Dr Donald Grey.
This service will include this year’s unique two-minute silence at 18.104.22.168 - 11am on the 11th of the 11th month in 2011.
MARKET Deeping Town Council will be opening its Garden of Remembrance at Riverside Park with a simple service on Sunday at 2.30pm. The garden will remain open for two weeks and members of the community are invited to plant a Remembrance Cross available from poppy sellers.
Today and tomorrow Legion volunteers will be at Tesco and the Discount Warehouse. They will also be collecting in the town centre tomorrow and at the market on Wednesday.
Just as in Stamford, funeral directors RJ Scholes help out in Bourne as well.
Poppy Appeal organiser for Bourne Bill Griffin praised the company for providing a limousine from its Wherry’s Lane premises which was driven by funeral director Kevin Hicks.
It helped deliver poppies and collecting boxes and tins to about 150 outlets around the town prior to the appeal launch last weekend.
“Without Kevin’s support and the use of the limousine it would have been an absolute nightmare,” said Mr Griffin. “We were able to save a lot of time and effort and do it in style.”
This is Mr Griffin’s second year as Poppy Appeal organiser.
“We raised just over £14,500 last year and if we can reach £15,000 this year I will be a happy man,” he said,
Mr Hicks said this was the fifth year that RJ Scholes had helped. “We’re so pleased we are able to provide significant help to such an important cause,” he said.
Bourne volunteers are collecting at Sainsbury’s and the Co-operative foodstore and will man a stall at the town’s market on Thursday.
Local cadets will be in the town centre tomorrow morning.
The Garden of Remembrance has been moved this year to beside the Darby and Joan Club in South Street. It will be formally opened tomorrow at 2pm with a short service led by the Rev Canon David Staples, secretary of the Bourne branch of the Legion. The garden will remain open for people to place crosses until after Remembrance Sunday.
In Rutland, collections for the Poppy Appeal are going well all over the county and next Friday’s 11am two-minute silence will be observed at Crown Walk, Oakham with the Rev Brian Nicholls and at the war memorial in Empingham.
A ‘ring and sing’ concert is being held at Oakham Parish Church on Saturday, November 12 at 7pm and a Festival of Remembrance concert for Leicestershire and Rutland Legion is being held in Leicester Cathedral tomorrow at 7pm. It stars the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. Tickets cost £10 are available on 0116 261 6584.
Leicester City Football Club’s match against Leeds United tomorrow at 3pm at the King Power Stadium is a special Remembrance Day fixture. Oakham Legion secretary Alan Moutrey said this was a major event which last year raised £11,500.
“There will be cadets, bands and veterans there, a helicopter bringing the team ball and Oakham’s Ford dealer Tim Norton has for some years supplied a Poppy Van that acts as a collecting point for us at the stadium.”