Poppy Appeal set to launch in Peterborough

Red haired poppy collector Catherine Bennett. EMN-160111-154750009
Red haired poppy collector Catherine Bennett. EMN-160111-154750009
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The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal begins in Peterborough on Saturday, and local organisers George and Catherine Bennett are hoping to top last year’s total of £116,000.

The couple have been co-ordinating the fundraising effort in the city since 2001 and go out of their way to encourage donations, with George having his hair shaved off two years ago and Catherine dying her hair red last year and purple this year.

The launch event is at 9am at Bridge Street with Mayor of Peterborough, and formal Royal Navy serviceman, Cllr John Fox helping the fundraising effort.

The caravan selling the poppies will be out every day apart from Sundays until the appeal ends.

Catherine said: “When we first took over the amount we raised was just over £29,000 in Peterborough.

“We’ve taken it up every year and last year we raised over £116,000. This year, we are hoping to raise even more money. Without our volunteers that help us every year we could not do it.

“People can come along and sell poppies - businesses that want to support the Poppy Appeal can give me a ring and we will deliver poppies and the tin to their establishment.”

Catherine said drivers are needed this year and people can volunteer in their lunch hour if that is the only free time they have.

To contact Catherine, call 07871 285 574.

Queensgate Shopping Centre has also welcomed the return of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Shop.

Last year the shop helped to raise an incredible £31,000 thanks to the generosity and support of people in Peterborough and those visiting the centre.

This year Queensgate is determined to raise even more for the Royal British Legion charity that provides lifelong support for the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, Reservists, veterans and their families.

The shop will be selling Remembrance Poppies, wristbands, decorative pins and other commemorative items and will be located in North Square.

“We’re honoured to welcome the Royal British Legion back again to Queensgate and will do everything we can to make this year’s collection our best possible,” said centre director at Queensgate Mark Broadhead.

“Thank you to every person that donated last year. The total exceeded our expectations and has made a considerable difference to the quality of people’s lives. If you can, please visit the Poppy Shop this year and give what you can, thank you.”

The shop will be in Queensgate until November 12.