Derbys: Poppy Appeal total for 2013 is past £650,000 mark but British Legion urgently needs new volunteers in areas like Bolsover and Clowne

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The Royal British Legion says their 2013 Poppy Appeal total for Derbyshire has already exceeded the 2012 total.

But the Legion has also pleaded for a new generation of volunteers to come forward and be part of the charity in order to enable them to keep providing the vital service they do, especially in areas such as Clowne and Bolsover.

Volunteers are also needed across the Legion at other branches across the Midlands, none more so than at Worksop where the Guardian is leading a campaign to help save the town branch of the Legion from closure.

The 2013 Poppy Appeal total for Derbyshire has already reached £656,350 with six months still to go until the appeal year ends in September.

Christine Selden, community fund-raiser for the British Legion in Derbyshire, said: “The support we receive from the people of Derbyshire is fantastic.”

“Throughout the economic downturn their support for our Armed Forces, veterans and their families has been unwavering.”

“I would like to thank everyone involved with the appeal; collectors, counters, organisers and everyone who gave a donation for a poppy.”

“However, we are facing a bit of a crisis.”

“The British Legion relies on volunteers to organise the Poppy Appeal in their local areas by distributing poppies and collecting in all of the donations at the end of the Remembrance period.”

“This year we have had several key Poppy Appeal Organisers stand down for various reasons and so we are looking for a new generation of volunteers to become Poppy Appeal Organisers (POAs)and deputy Poppy Appeal Organisers.”

“We need organisers for Hope, Bolsover and Clowne, and across the county deputy PAOs are needed to ensure continuity.”

“Organisers do not need to be members of The Royal British Legion, nor do they have to do the role on their own.”

“A group of friends or an existing community group can organise the Appeal, and they will be supported by myself and local volunteer collectors and members of The Royal British Legion.”

“This year is a year of commemorations. Not only is 2014 the centenary of the start of the First World War, but is also the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.”

“It would be a great shame if people could not get their poppies in their local area.”

If anyone would like to find out more about being a Poppy Appeal Organiser, please contact Christine Selden on 07973 750816 or email