Sidbury and Sidford’s Royal British Legion branch could fold without new blood

PUBLISHED: 06:09 22 March 2016

Lt Col Hedley Croft with members of the Sidbury and Sidford RBL at a coffee morning at Sidford social hall on Saturday morning. Picture by Terry Ife ref shs 4206-45-10TI RBL

Lt Col Hedley Croft with members of the Sidbury and Sidford RBL at a coffee morning at Sidford social hall on Saturday morning. Picture by Terry Ife ref shs 4206-45-10TI RBL

Archant

Committee members appeal for volunteers

Sidbury and Sidford’s Royal British Legion (RBL) could fold after 92 years of service if volunteers do not come forward to continue its work.

Current committee members revealed the grave situation faced by the branch this week and warned around £8,000 in Poppy Appeal donations each year could be lost to the charity.

Vice chairman and appeal organiser Colin Kingman explained the group currently relies on a small team – the vast majority off whom are aged in their 70s and 80s and unable to carry on much longer – and as it stands there is no-one to take their place.

Mr Kingman, of School Street, said: “A lot of us are beginning to find it a struggle. Our problem is that we are getting older and we are having difficulty finding new people to come forward. If that does not happen, we will have no choice but to fold.

“It would be a shame to see everything just end, but we have a lack of people coming forward.

“What we are looking for is some newly retired men and women, who have a little bit of time on their hands, to come along and see what we do and get involved with the legion. If they can support us by coming on the committee, that would be great.”

Founded in 1921, the RBL is the leading charity in the UK which provides help and support to millions who have served or are serving in the armed forces and their families and dependents.

Mr Kingman emphasised that members are not required to have any connection to the military and anyone willing to assist would be welcomed.

Sidbury’s RBL branch was formed in 1924 and currently organises a number of events throughout the year – with the Poppy Appeal accounting for the majority of the annual fundraising efforts.

Secretary Marion Clarkson, of Greenhead, Sidbury, said: “It is not a big commitment, but we just need some younger people to come and breathe fresh life into the branch.”

Chairman Tony Ward, of Newlands Road, Sidford, said the branch will soon be looking for someone to take over as chair and also a volunteer to organise the Poppy Appeal after this year.

Anyone interested in joining and offering assistance can email: mi.clarkson@btinternet.com or call Marion on 01395 597432 or Colin on 01395 579725.

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