St Albans Poppy Appeal in danger of ending

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 April 2018

The British Legion have been collecting for the Poppy Appeal in St Albans all week

The British Legion have been collecting for the Poppy Appeal in St Albans all week

Archant

St Albans’ annual Poppy Appeal is in real danger of ending because no-one has come forward to organise it.

The Royal British Legion (RBL) advertised the role last year September after the former organiser resigned in a long-term dispute with RBL headquarters.

Although that person was on the committee, the new volunteer would not need to have a military background or be a member.

The role involves both ordering and distributing poppies, and organising volunteers.

Last year it was able to run without a formal organiser, but if the charity cannot find anyone willing to do the job this year the appeal may not go ahead.

Historically St Albans has raised more than £75,000 to support veterans and their families each November.

RBL’s community fund raiser for Hertfordshire, Kate Mackay, said: “The Poppy Appeal organiser is fundamental to ensuring the city has poppies this November.

“The people of St Albans are so supportive. We have a small group of fantastic volunteers, but without a main organiser who will order poppies, organise volunteers and help distribute poppies in the city, the Poppy Appeal cannot go ahead.

“We hope someone in the area will come forward and help us by taking on this valuable and rewarding role in the community.”

Chairman Don Dell, secretary Norman Davies, assistant treasurer Gerald Maguire, and treasurer Peter Noden all stepped down from their posts in June last year because they did not want RBL to sell the St Albans headquarters on Verulam Road.

Two structures were being offloaded because they failed health and safety inspections - the Nissen Hut, an corrugated iron structure, and Mitchell Hall, which dates to the 1840s.

The St Albans RBL has been operating from the site since 1921.

The annual Poppy Appeal is RBL’s biggest fund raising event each year, with 40 million paper flowers sold.

Anyone who is interested in taking on the role of organiser should contact Kate on 07920 861161 or kmackay@britishlegion.org.uk

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