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Search for Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for Gravesend

There are fears Gravesend’s contribution to the Poppy Appeal could fall if a new co-ordinator cannot be found.

The town is in need of a new Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal organiser after the man in charge, Ian Armitage, decided to step down.

A demanding patch, the town is second in the county when it comes to raising funds. However, future collections could suffer if the vacancy is not filled.

Mr Armitage said: “I think the appeal will be done, but not on the scale it’s been done before.

“We have several people who will put the stalls out and collect, but we won’t have a co-ordinator and the difference with that is they are responsible for the counting [of donations]."

Mr Armitage said the ideal candidate would have to have time on their hands.

He said: “The person would probably have to be retired or semi-retired and someone who can organise people because it’s quite a large area.

“It’s bigger than you think, it’s the second highest take in Kent for the Poppy Appeal. It’s in the region of £40,000 during the appeal.”

Mr Armitage had been Gravesend’s organiser for three years but decided to step down due to problems with his health.

He said Gravesend people always dug deep for the cause.

Mr Armitage said:“It took up a lot of time but the cause makes it all worth while. It’s a very military town, Gravesend, it’s got a lot of links with the Army, Navy and Air Force.

“We had barracks here, which closed in 1969, but this would have been its 160th year.

“We also had the RAF airfield at Riverview and we have a lot of strong links with the Merchant Navy and the Royal Navy in Gravesend.

“I’ll miss doing it but it does take up a lot of time. It starts from about this time of the year to December.

“You normally have a group of 400 collectors and fund raisers at least. There are also a lot of people who want wreaths for their friends and relatives.”

Those interested in becoming the Poppy Appeal organiser for Gravesend should call Jane Ayres, Kent community fundraiser, on 01622 793194 or email at jayres@britishlegion.org.uk

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