Gainsborough Poppy Appeal raises more than £27,400

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The Gainsborough branch of a veterans’ charity has reported a successful year of fundraising after generating more than £27,000 in 2016.

The Gainsborough and district branch of the Royal British Legion raised £27,459 during the 2016 Poppy Appeal, the annual campaign run in the period up to Remembrance Sunday.

The figure is an increase of £2,743 on the total raised in 2015.

Frank Charlton, incoming branch chairman, said: “The achievement of this figure is down to the generosity of the people of Gainsborough and surrounding district.

“Particularly heartening is the amount generated by schools in the area, which totalled £2,723.”

As well as schools, 109 poppy boxes were distributed to businesses, shops, pubs and clubs throughout the area.

Mr Charlton and his branch colleagues said they were particularly appreciative of those major stores which welcomed poppy stands on to their premises for the two-week duration of the appeal.

Customers at Morrisons contributed £7,566, those at Tesco £4,891, Aldi £1,196 and Wilko £5,025.

Mr Charlton said: “The Gainsborough and district branch of the Royal British Legion is extremely grateful to all for the work they undertook during the appeal.

“The events marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War have undoubtedly made people more aware of the sacrifices made and therefore maybe even more generous in their support.

“However, in the end it comes down to the generosity of the public and the hard work of our members and supporters who get out there on the stands, or deliver boxes – and especially our appeal coordinator, Mary Cook.”

The announcement of the fundraising total was made at a meeting on Monday, December 12, which coincided with Mr Charlton’s installation as branch chairman.

He takes over from Michael Wragg – and has promised to uphold the responsibilities of the office to the best of his ability.

Mr Charlton, aged 70, joined the Army in 1963, and served until 1986.

He said: “I’ve been dedicating more and more of my time to the Legion since I retired five years ago, and I’m very conscious of what my predecessors have done.

“I just hope I can follow in their footsteps and maintain our focus on remembrance of all those who lost their lives in conflicts, and looking after those who survived.”

n The Gainsborough branch of the Legion meets on the second Monday of every month at the United Services Club on Bridge Street. For more details, call 01427 617864.