THE organiser behind an emergency Poppy Appeal in Littlehampton has this week praised the generosity of the town’s residents who raised an impressive £9,376.
Derek Moore was forced to arrange a last-minute appeal following the tragic death of steadfast poppy collection organiser Tommy Harrison.
Mr Moore, of Colebrook Road, Wick, had just days to rally the troops of the town, as well as finding new volunteers to help with the fundraising effort for the Royal British Legion.
Speaking to the Gazette on Monday (November 24), he said: “I’m extremely pleased with the amount raised, especially as it was over such a short space of time.
“It was an emergency situation because of Tom’s death. So I think it’s an incredible effort.
“But we couldn’t have done it without the help of the people who came forward, the Gazette for publishing the article and all the Scouts, cadets and everyone who helped with the collection.”
Mr Moore enlisted the help of about ten people to help with collections and logistics, as well youngsters from the Littlehampton Army Cadet Force and the 4th Littlehampton Scouts who carried out street and shop collections.
His plea was also backed by the Arundel and District Royal British Legion, East Preston and Kingston Royal British Legion and Rustington Royal British Legion.
They provided him with much-needed supplies to help with his appeal.
Mr Moore added: “To think that we had nothing initially and to then to get that much help is great really.”
In an average year, Mr Harrison raised about £10,000.
However, Mr Moore – who has now taken on the responsibility as the honorary poppy appeal organiser for the town – felt confident future efforts could match this figure or potentially surpass it.
He is now hoping to incorporate more people – particularly from youth groups such as the Scouts and Guides – to help with next year’s fundraiser.
This could be by selling wreaths, poppies, holding collection boxes or assisting with logistics.
“We’re looking to raise the barrier next year but that can only be done with local people and help,” he said. To help, contact Mr Moore by emailing email@example.com or calling 01903 714930.