Winnersh Legion raises £25,000By Caroline Cook
December 23, 2011
The Winnersh branch of the Royal British Legion has followed in Wokingham’s footsteps by raising more than £25,000 for this year’s Poppy Appeal.
The branch, covering Woodley, Earley and Lower Earley, amassed a staggering £26,879.20 for the appeal which raises money for the armed forces and their families.
Tom Handy, from Winnersh British Legion, said: “That is a record for the Winnersh branch and exceeded our 2010 total, which was also a record, by £3,350.
“More than anything it reflects how the country feels with regard to what is going on in Afghanistan and everything else.
“Even in times of economic difficulty people are still prepared to put their hands in their pockets.”
Between 50 and 60 volunteers went out with collecting tins over a two-week period in November to drum up support for the appeal, with coins and notes dropping in their droves.
Around 200 companies across Winnersh, Woodley, Earley and Lower Earley also agreed to display collecting tins and poppy boxes on their counters.
Mr Handy said: “Those two weeks in the first part of November reflects everything that the whole of the nation thinks about what is happening with our services.
“The efforts that were put in not only by the people who stood out in the cold but our commercial set-up as well was fantastic.
“I don’t know of any company that refused to display one of our boxes.”
It was also a best-ever year for the Wokingham branch of the Royal British Legion, which raised a record-breaking £25,203.70 despite fears that the collection was going to be axed because of dwindling volunteers.
Ex-servicemen and women, family, friends and supporters rallied round to ensure poppies were sold across the borough in time for Remembrance Sunday.
The final total collected by the Wokingham legion was £1,346.45 more than the amount collected in 2010.
Mr Handy said: “Hopefully what we have experienced in Winnersh and Wokingham will have been reflected across the country and will really benefit all the servicemen and women.”