A LAST-minute plea has been made by the Littlehampton wing of the Poppy Appeal for helpers to come forward and support the campaign.
Derek Moore, who is taking over as the organiser of the annual appeal in the Littlehampton area, is urging shops, schools, organisations and individuals, who normally support the fundraiser by keeping boxes of poppies, to contact him,
It follows in the wake of the death of a prolific Poppy Appeal supporter Tom Harrison, who died earlier this year.
Derek explained that following Mr Harrison’s death, a list of all those who back the appeal had not been found and that the Littlehampton wing is now desperate to hear from those who normally support the campaign.
Mr Moore said: “Because of the unfortunate illness and subsequent death of Tom Harrison ,who was I might add a much staunched member of the British Legion and an excellent local Poppy Organiser, nothing was planned or organised for this year’s Poppy Appeal nothing had been ordered and what stock he held had been returned or left with unknown friends
“I would like people to contact me urgently to let me know if they require poppy boxes or if they can help out with the distribution of boxes between October 25 to November 8 and also to collect boxes after Armistice Day, November 11 or even offer their services to stand in one of the local supermarkets or help with a street collection on Poppy Day which is on November 8.”
He is also appealing for businesses and charities to provide much-needed storage space for poppy boxes and collection cans on a long-term basis.
Derek added: “I do not have a garage and have limited space at home to store the amount of stock required to run the local appeal so maybe a local storage company, business or charity organisation would consider allowing us some storage space as part of their contribution to the local and nation Poppy Appeal.”
So far a total of 48 boxes have already been received and dispersed to some groups and organisations, with more supplies set to be on their way soon.
Highlighting the importance of the campaign, Derek said: “The Poppy Appeal is the major single source of revenue for the Royal British Legion’s Benevolent Fund.
“Last year Tom Harrison raised £10,663.40 for the fund.
“Each year more people come to the Legion for help and the cost of that help is continually increasing.
“Weekly and even daily we have read of young servicemen and women employed in peace keeping duties in many parts of the world, often in considerable danger, and this means that there will always be a need to provide help for them and their dependants, when they themselves no longer can.
“That is why it is so important for the Legion to continue its vital work.
“The Poppy Appeal has a more poignant meaning this year as it is the 100 anniversary of the onset of the First World War.”
To help the campaign, please call Derek on 01903 714930l, 07968 051578 or email firstname.lastname@example.org