Sidmouth Poppy Appeal volunteers celebrate record year

Sidmouth's Poppy Appeal collectors received certificates for their work over the last year. Don Rich

Sidmouth's Poppy Appeal collectors received certificates for their work over the last year. Don Richards, Ralph Hickman, John Chase, Sue Pink, Lyn Ellis, Chris Pink, Claudia Kelly, Pat Weavin and Dave O'Connor. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s poppy collectors are celebrating a record breaking year after raising more than £19,300 for the Poppy Appeal in 2016. The helpers were recognised for their street collections and door-to-door sales at an event at the Balfour ahead of the start of this year’s collection.

Among those collecting certificates were Don Richards, Ralph Hickman, John Chase, Pat Weavin and Sue and Chris Pink who all celebrated five years’ service.

Richard Waring, Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for Sidmouth said, “It has set a record. It has been a big effort from the collectors and the amazing support from people of Sidmouth and the businesses of Sidmouth to facilitate our collections.

“It’s very humbling to see, pennies are few and the amount of meaningful currency is amazing.”

Claudia Kelly, the Legion’s community fundraiser for Devon North, attended the event to present the volunteers with their awards.

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She said: “ I am so proud of how well Sidmouth has done with their 2016 Poppy Appeal – a wonderful achievement, and this achievement is all down to the hard work of Poppy Appeal Organisers, Richard and Sue, and their wonderful team of volunteers.

“A lot of the volunteers have been helping out with the Poppy Appeal for many years and want to beat their previous years’ target – great to have a little healthy competition with yourself! I very much enjoyed meeting all the volunteers and handing out certificates to a lot of them that have been helping for a number of years – they are very deserving of them.”

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During the record breaking total more than £8,000 was collected outside the Anchor Inn, Lidl, Co-op and Waitrose.

Mr Waring added: “Without it we wouldn’t have reached anywhere near this.”

The co-ordinator thanked the efforts of the schools, cadets, scouts and guides in boosting the proceeds.

He also thanked the Radway Cinema and manager Amanda Marks for hosting a fundraising evening during its Dunkirk screenings which raised more than £1,500.

This year’s collection will begin on Saturday for the two weeks running until Remembrance Sunday.

Poppies will also be available from the pop up poppy shop in Temple Street from 9am to 10am and 4pm to 5pm until November 11.

To order a wreath or a time to drop in call the shop on 01395 515614.

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