Youngsters urged to back Poppy Appeal at Stow
YOUNG people should get involved with the Poppy Appeal.
That's the call from Stow-on-the-Wold Royal British Legion as it launched this year's drive for vital donations.
Branch Poppy Appeal organiser Sarah Owens, 27, said: "I'm one of the youngest organisers in the country and I'm trying to get more young people on board.
"They are the generation who are keeping us alive," she said.
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"And I'd like more to volunteer and help with collecting and delivering boxes.
"They can also help in our first Poppy shop in The Square which is open seven days a week up to and including November 10. It's a place for people to come and chat and be part of the community. All our collectors have a cup of coffee and cake in there."
The pop-up shop, next to St Edward's Cafe, is a suggested donation charity store stocked with Poppy merchandise and donated goods including clothes, furniture and books.
The branch aims to beat last year's £13,000 total.
Moreton Army Cadets and 12 Royal British Legion Riders kickstarted the appeal on Saturday.
Branch chairman Ron Bockhart said the impetus was to support the Battle Back Centre, an adaptive sports and outdoor facility at the National Sports Centre, Lilleshall, to which the national RBL has committed £27 million.
"Our funds go towards rehabilitation, to help people get back into normal life," he said.
"Many of the paraplegics are already training for the Paralympics in Rio.
"The legion pays for staff and equipment for most of the repatriation places that Help for Heroes funds, but many people aren't aware of it."
"The Poppy Appeal is just as important today as it was for the First and Second World Wars."
Poppy collectors will be in The Square every day.
There is a concerted drive at Tesco, in Stow, all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the following Friday and Saturday, with collectors aided by army cadets helping to pack shopping bags for donations.
At the launch, 45 out of 90 balloons to represent Stow's anniversary were released by children in a race. Sponsored by shops and businesses, prizes will be given to the child who released the balloon that travels the furthest and the person who returns it.