Almost £70,000 has been raised by the people of Wrexham for this year’s Poppy Appeal.
Individuals, voluntary groups, the public and supermarkets have been praised for their support of this year’s appeal – with a “phenomenal amount” of money raised locally.
A total of £68,000 has already been banked locally and it is anticipated that the figure will continue to rise with further donations.
Kevin Forbes Wrexham town centre organiser for the Poppy Appeal said “volunteers are our most valuable resource”.
“We simply could not raise this phenomenal amount of money without them,” he continued.
“Support comes from Comrades Associations, Rotary groups, Inner Wheel Church groups, Officer Training Corps,Cadets, Students and of course the general public.”
He further commented that “young people are brilliant supporters of the appeal”, adding: “Students and cadets collected in the town centre. Over the two weekends of the appeal and raised more than £3000 on the streets of Wrexham.
“Starbucks ,Café Nero and Costa supported the street collectors by offering free tea and coffee to those on the streets.
“The Poppy Appeal again showed how generous people can be with their time. It is delightful to work with a group of people whose attitude is ‘of course it can be done’.
“It also continues to show the generosity of the people of Wrexham supporting such a great cause
“If you delivered and collected, helped in a supermarket, helped to count then restore and return the stock or in many cases multitasked we offer our sincere thanks.
“The town was decorated as usual with poppies on the lamppost on the five main arterial routes and this year the Guildhall was resplendent with poppies all across the balcony as well as the massive 6ft poppy.”
Supermarkets have also been praised for the involvement, with Mr Forbes explaining that over the past 10 years they have become “increasingly important”.
The combined amounts collected in the supermarkets now equate to 60% of the total collection – a large rise from five years ago.
Mr Forbes said: “Now Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons have a national agreement to count and bank the collections taken in their stores, that has been a great health and safety bonus for our individual volunteers.
“In addition all of the supermarkets have increased the time allocated to Poppy Appeal with a whole fortnight being very common. We thank them for their continued cooperation.
“The overall effect has been a continuous rolling programme of volunteer staffed Poppy Stalls in Aldi, ASDA, Morrisons ,Sainsbury’s and Tesco, with each supermarket having its own dedicated Poppy Organiser.”
This year saw DTCC and Thompson Reuters – companies based on the Wrexham Industrial Estate – provide staff to cover the two Aldi stores in town, with subsequent match funding.
Looking ahead to future appeals, it is hoped more companies locally can do similar initiatives.
Mr Forbes continued: “The work done by our volunteers is much appreciated and when we analyse the work which needs to be put in to make the appeal such a success it can be seen that many people give a great deal of their time, sometimes in many different ways.”
He added: “The 2016 Poppy Appeal smashed all records at £46 million and it looks as if the 2017 campaign will be just as successful .
“Well done and thanks to all. We have started planning for next year already.”
The Poppy Appeal supports the benevolent work of the Royal British Legion. It is estimated that 9.5 million people in the UK are eligible for the Legion’s support.
As the nation’s leading Armed Forces charity, the Legion spends £1.6 million a week on vital welfare work, providing social, emotional and financial care and support to serving and ex-Service people and their families.
Fundraising for the cause takes place throughout the year, with volunteers currently being sought to help via sport events, including the upcoming Wrexham Half Marathon.
If you have any fundraising suggestions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Those interested in finding out more about volunteering for the Poppy Appeal can do so by phoning 0808 802 8080.