Chesterfield legion asks for poppy appeal help

Cecilia Harper pins a poppy to then mayor and mayoress in 2012
Cecilia Harper pins a poppy to then mayor and mayoress in 2012

This year’s Royal British Legion backed ‘Poppy Appeal’ will start in Chesterfield on Saturday, October 24 - but the appeal’s organisers say they are struggling to find enough people to sell for them.

They say their members are often elderly and can not stand for long periods at the stalls which are set up around the town at this time of year.

The organisation made £48,000 last year during the appeal in 2014 but organisers says they cannot hope to match that figure without attracting more volunteers.

Branch secretary and poppy appeal coordinator, Cecilia Harper, 74, said: “We are asking for people to help us man the inside stands, even it is only for a couple of hours.

“Most people think you have got to be a member of the legion to sell the poppies but you don’t - any help people can offer would be gratefully received.”

The legion will be running inside stalls this year at the precinct, Morrisons, Lidl, Marks and Spencer and Asda.

At the launch a bugler and a town crier will kick things off before a poppy is formally pinned on the mayor marking the official start of Chesterfield legion’s poppy appeal.

Speaking of the continuing need for the yearly appeal, Celia said: “Unfortunately, there is even more demand than there used to be as the men we are seeing are of working age and have families to support.

“Also, in many cases they have lost limbs and need long term care - we will be looking after these men for the rest of their lives.”