Royal British Legion branch chairman for Sheppey, Ian Goodwin
The chairman of the Island’s Royal British Legion (RBL) is hoping to increase its membership to 100 to tie in with the centenary of the First World War next year.
Ian Goodwin, who was appointed to the position in March, says they are looking to recruit newcomers, including young people.
There were fears earlier this year that Sheppey could be left without a group at all after the Minster branch closed due to lack of support.
Queenborough then amalgamated with Sheerness but the former chairman had to step down due to ill health.
There is now Sheerness main branch and a Queenborough sub-branch which altogether have 89 people signed up. Mr Goodwin is keen to get the former members of the closed branches to rejoin.
They are working closely with a number of youth groups, including Sheppey Sea Cadets, St John Ambulance, Sheerness Army Cadet Force and the Sheppey Air Training Corps.
This is to encourage youngsters to take part in RBL activities and become youth members.
The charity provides financial, social and emotional support to current and ex-servicemen and women and their families and it is estimated that around 10.5m people in the UK are eligible for help.
This includes providing help with holidays, housing and mobility scooters. Money is raised throughout the year – their biggest boost comes from the annual Poppy Appeal.
Mr Goodwin said: “It would be fitting if we could increase membership to at least 100 to coincide with the centenary of the First World War in 2014.
“I am aware a number of legion branches on the Island have now closed due to lack of membership and we would be delighted if former members could join our branch.
“We meet at the Co-op Sports and Social Club, St George’s Avenue, Sheerness, so please come along to see what we do and how you can help us fulfil our objectives.”
The next meeting will be on Monday and then on Monday, October 7 and Monday, November 4, from 7.30pm.