Poppy appeal hopes to beat last year’s target

The launch of Stratford Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal included, from left, David Hastie, chairman of Stratford RBL, Margaret Hastie, branch women’s secretary, Pam Birch and Mo Wingate, poppy helpers who are pictured with Stratford Mayor, Victoria Alcock.

LAST year’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in Stratford raised £55,000 and organisers of this year’s appeal, which was launched on Friday, hope to top that total.

“The next two weeks will be the busiest for us,” said David Hastie, branch chairman of Stratford Royal British Legion. “The money raised goes to help members of the armed forces whether they are serving or retired. I think this year’s appeal is going to be another busy one for us judging by the interest people have shown so far.”

Stratford Mayor Victoria Alcock officially launched Stratford’s Poppy Appeal which she described as “a great honour.”

“My family has a military background. My uncle was a marine, my brother was in the RAF and my nephew is an army reservist,” the mayor said.

Poppy Appeal helper, Pam Birch from Stratford, has knitted 300 woolen poppies having started her project just after Christmas.

“I just sit and knit away and the poppies have been selling well. I do it because if it hadn’t been for those soldiers who fought and died for us we wouldn’t be here now,” Pam said.