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Poppy Appeal launched in York
At the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal at the Mansion House, in York, were John Lebbon, left, chairman of the York Branch of the Royal British Legion, with the Lord Mayor, Coun Keith Hyman
VOLUNTEERS joined the Lord Mayor of York at the launch of this year’s Poppy Appeal in the city.
Organisers of the Royal British Legion’s City of York Appeal are hoping at least to match last year’s record collection of £102,502.
If they succeed, it will be down to the hard work of scores of volunteers who rattle the collecting tins on the streets and in shops across the city, and also on those who deliver more than 600 boxes of poppies and collecting tins to shops, offices, schools and pubs across the city.
Peggy Cammidge, 77, an ex-Wren from Huntington, York, who served on HMS Vernon shore establishment at Portsmouth and whose husband Brian was also in the Royal Navy, delivers 38 tins to shops at Monks Cross retail park each year, having been helping the legion in this way for more than a quarter of a century.
“They recognise me now (at the shops),” she said. “They say; ‘Here’s the poppy lady!’ “ Peggy said when it came round to collecting the tins at the end of the appeal, the fullest one was at McDonalds restaurant, where staff had told her they could fill two tins and where many of the donations came from young people calling in at the end of a night out.
The Lord Mayor, Coun Keith Hyman, speaking at yesterday’s launch at the Mansion House, told how his own father Jack had joined the Royal Navy in 1938 because he wanted to see the world.
“In 1939, he started to see more of the world than he expected and he was basically away from home for five or six years,” he said.
The legion spends £1.7 million every week providing direct, practical support for the country’s wounded heroes and bereaved Armed Forces families.
A spokeswoman said that the past 12 months of conflict in Afghanistan, which had seen the Yorkshire Regiment hit especially hard, had increased the need for its help today and for years to come.
Appeals have also been launched in Selby and East Yorkshire.