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Poppy team hopes for a record year

MP Sharon Hodgson helps to launch the Poppy Appeal at Asda at the Galleries with members of the Royal British Legion.

MP Sharon Hodgson helps to launch the Poppy Appeal at Asda at the Galleries with members of the Royal British Legion.

People raising pounds from poppies have set a new target – to break fundraising records.

For Poppy Appeal organisers in Washington say they are bang on track for more cash than ever.

Just days after being launched, about £4,250 has been collected.

That is already ahead of last year’s efforts, and means the £31,000 raised last year is within reach.

Malcolm Pickering, 56, secretary of Royal British Legion Washington, praised donors, and said he was hopeful records could be broken.

Malcolm, a retired chief petty officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, said: “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but this could be our best yet. If it carries on as it has started, then that could happen.

“The people of Washington have shown tremendous generosity, old and young alike.”

The RBL’s appeal in the town was launched by MP Sharon Hodgson, the branch’s honorary president, last Saturday at the Asda store in The Galleries.

She was the first to buy a poppy for this year’s appeal, and has been followed by hundreds of others since.

About 100,000 lapel poppies in 140 boxes have been despatched to shops, pubs, schools and doctors’ surgeries.

Mr Pickering believes current conflicts involving British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have helped propel the annual appeal to the fore.

The RBL is collecting at Asda from Monday until Friday.

The town’s main remembrance service takes place in Washington Village, from 10am on Sunday, November 11.

 

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