This year, after 96 years of constant and vigilant campaigning on behalf of the ex-service community of this country, the Royal British Legion is faced with a situation of critical and mounting urgency.
For nearly 100 years the Legion has received the unflagging and selfless support of thousands of men and women throughout the country who have never forgotten their responsibility for the welfare of those ex-servicemen and their families who, having given so much in the service of their country, now find themselves in need help and support.
Today, however, those men and women who, traditionally year after year have come forward as collectors and organisers at the time of the Poppy Appeal, are growing older, and with each year that passes it becomes a matter of increasing urgency that a large number of new young collectors can be found who can carry this valuable work on into the 21st century.
The shortage of collectors grows graver each year and the massive commitment facing the region remains undiminished.
The continuing toll of human distress represented by such conflicts as Korea, Malaya, Borneo, and more recently Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Gulf, Bosnia and Afghanistan all make greater the task that the Legion still faces today.
Now, as never before, there is a pressing need for an entire new generation of young collectors to ensure that the Legion can continue this desperately needed work.
May I, therefore, as organiser of Belper’s Poppy Appeal, make a personal appeal for more collectors - people willing to give up a day, an evening, even a couple of hours for one of Britain’s most deserving causes.
This year’s appeal starts on Saturday, October 28, and runs through to Saturday, November 11.
You can contact me giving details of dates and times you could help on 07835 721399 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively come in to the Legion on Strutt Street where offers of help would be warmly appreciated.