Money pours in for appeal

Judith and Keith Jones who are delighted with the fundraising effort.
Judith and Keith Jones who are delighted with the fundraising effort.
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Thousands of pounds has been provided to veterans by kind-hearted residents.

This year’s Poppy Appeal in Blackpool has seen an outpouring of generosity.

A grand total of £20,646 was raised by the South Blackpool branch of the Royal British Legion and the Central and North Blackpool branch continue to count the money that has poured in.

Their total currently stands at £34,000 and is one of the best fundraising year’s for veterans the town has ever seen.

Judith Jones, the Poppy Appeal organiser for the South Blackpool branch, added: “We are very pleased.

“Last year we were down from the year before, but this year we have really boosted it.

“I was very surprised because money is tight at the moment but people were putting £20-£30 in the tins.

“When you know the money is going to help people, it’s well worth doing what you can.”

Patrick Swann, honorary secretary of the South Blackpool branch, praised the work of the army cadets in South Shore who contributed £6,000 to the fundraising total.

He told The Gazette: “I don’t think we have done better in the years I have been doing this.

“We usually raise £13,000 but this year has been very successful.

“People are donating now because they’re more aware of what is going on in Afghanistan.”

Ian Coleman, president of Blackpool Royal British Legion, added: “It’s absolutely incredible how much effort goes into the Poppy Appeal and it’s sorely needed.

“Each year more and more is needed because as ex-service personnel get older, more money is needed and they depend on it.”

Irene Hargreaves organised the Poppy Appeal in central Blackpool, Bispham and in areas next to Lytham Road, South Shore.

The efforts of her collectors were put under strain when five Poppy Appeal stalwarts died and she could not find anyone to replace them.

She said: “It was a good effort and I’m pleased because of the people we lost.”