Fantastic response to Aylsham Poppy appeal

Just Regional
Feb 19, 2024 2 mins read

War veterans are getting help all year round from Aylsham’s Poppy collection.

Organisers are reminding local people that the appeal lasts much longer than the two weeks leading up to November’s Remembrance Day – as does the welfare work it helps fund.

The latest appeal in the Aylsham and District area has already raised £22,000.

It was a difficult year following the sudden death of local appeal organiser Carole Matthews, whose role was taken on by Derek Tomkinson with just a few weeks’ notice.

Aylsham-based county Royal British Legion chairman Smudge Smith said: “People came out of the woodwork to
help and my thanks go to all those that have worked hard this year to maintain the standard set by Carole.

“This is a fantastic figure which is already higher than the previous year’s appeal – but it is worth reminding people the Legion exists 52 weeks a year, not just two.”

The last census showed there are 40,000 military veterans in Norfolk who are potential beneficiaries of the Legion’s

Smudge added: “We have fewer World War One and Two veterans these days but there are still people who served in other conflicts such as Borneo, Malaya and Korea.

“Most of them are fine, but there are those who need our help.”

The Aylsham branch has “adopted” seven residents at the Legion-run Halsey House home at Cromer – buying them cards and presents for their birthdays and Christmas and dropping in for visits.

Legion members also visit local veterans for a chat or to help with household problems. Financial aid is also available through the Legion headquarters.

Any veterans in need of welfare help from the Legion should contact its central community support number 0808 802 8080 (8am to 8pm every day) which can refer them on to the local branch if appropriate.

Derek Tomkinson, who served six years with the Army’s REME regiment, said the local Poppy Appeal team was always happy to recruit more people to help with house-to-house collections, pop up stalls in the Market Place and local supermarkets, plus a tent at the Aylsham Show.

For more information about volunteering, contact Derek via email at derek_tomkinson@hotmail.com

ON DUTY: Aylsham Poppy Appeal organiser Derek Tomkinson on duty at a stall.


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