Hoping to beat Poppy records

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WIGAN’S Poppy Appeal has been going from strength to strength and this year is hoping to beat all records.

Over the last four years, the community-based Wigan Poppy Appeal Team has brought new life to the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

This year’s campaign was officially launched by one of their staunchest supporters, Cath Hurst OBE, principal of Wigan and Leigh College.

The team has also joined forces with the Royal British Legion North West, Greater Manchester Police and Wigan’s Territorial Army.

Cath Hurst, college principal, said: “We were delighted to be asked.

“We have a lot of students who are studying public services and want to joined the armed forces, so they are contributing to the collection and are dedicating their time.

“It is important, that as a college, we recognise the hard work of the forces.”

Carol Watson, Wigan Poppy Appeal co-ordinator, said: “We really appreciate the help and support that everyone present has given us.We are hoping that this will be our most successful year yet.

“When the Royal British Legion North West branch appealed for help, four years ago, the total collected in Wigan had sunk to an all time low of less than £4,000.

“But over the years, we have managed to raise it to £39,000, dropping slightly to £33,000 last year.

“This is a great achievement for our team - the first of its kind in the country – but we could not have done this without the help of our many local partners and of course the caring attitude of the people of Wigan.”

Christine Bradford, Royal British Legion community fund-raiser for West Lancashire and Merseyside, said; “By having an official launch at the beginning of the appeal, raises the cause to the forefront.

“When I started re-establishing the appeal four years ago, it was very much branched-based, but now the community is getting involved. We were only raising £2,000, but now we are reaching more than £30,000 a year.”

Staff from The Co-operative Funeralcare, in High Street, Standish, are inviting local residents to join them for a coffee and cakes between 10am and 12 noon on Friday, November 2. Poppies will be on sale and all proceeds from the day will go to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.