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Appeal from organiser
THE Poppy Appeal needs you – that is the message from the man who each year leads the effort to organise the fundraising campaign in north Hampshire.
Bill Sample, chairman of the Basingstoke and Overton branch of The Royal British Legion, is on the lookout for volunteers who can spare a couple of hours as collectors. He wants new recruits to help the legion in its efforts to support young survivors returning from recent conflicts as well as the work it does with older veterans.
But he is concerned that appeal collectors, prepared to stand with collecting tins, are down in number compared with last year.
“I’m desperate this year,” said Mr Sample. “I had about 42 people last year, but I am down by about 14, which is a big chunk.”
Mr Sample said part of the reason why the number of collectors is down is that some of his usual band of helpers are not able to take part for health reasons.
“We are looking for as many people as we can. Last year, we raised £55,000 and I just hope we can beat that figure,” added Mr Sample, who said that for the last 13 years since he has been chairman, each year’s collection total has gone up.
Remembrance Sunday this year is on November 11 – the same day as Armistice Day.
Mr Sample said: “Every penny goes to the Poppy Appeal and not administration costs. “What we are asking is for people to spare a couple of hours to stand with a poppy box at a supermarket near where they live or in Basingstoke town centre.
“We’ve already got 25 Ghurkhas and I am thrilled to bits to have them volunteer – we always get a lot of support from them.”
Mr Sample is keen to hear from any potential collectors who are aged over 16.
He said: “All they need to do is call me and leave a message with their name and number and what days and hours they would like to do and where, and I will get back to them.”
Mr Sample can be contacted on 01256 357666.