An urgent rallying cry for support has been made by the new organisers of Leyland’s Poppy Appeal.
There was no one to lead the annual collection this year after Poppy Appeal organiser, Patricia Eskdale, decided to retire after many years at the helm.
Her decision coincided with the closure earlier this year of the Royal British Legion club in School Lane due to financial difficulties, though the branch itself continues to operate.
But after an appeal for help from the Royal British Legion, two volunteers came forward last month to organise the Poppy Appeal this year.
One of them, Peter Platt, is a member of the Royal British Legion branch in Leyland, while the other is Richard Cooper, bishop of the South Ribble ward of the Mormon church.
They are now busy organising this year’s appeal and need more volunteers to start selling poppies in the area.
Mr Platt, of Hazelwood Close, Leyland, decided to get involved after hearing about the work done by the Royal British Legion to support servicemen and women.
His son, father and other relatives have served in the armed forces.
He said: “When I saw the amount of good work that was done and the fact that the work done by the Royal British Legion isn’t done by anyone else, it made me realise how important the Poppy Appeal is.”
Mr Platt has already received orders for poppy wreaths from more than 20 different organisations and businesses.
They will be laid during Leyland’s civic service to mark Remembrance Sunday.
It will be held on Sunday, November 10.
And Mr Platt is urging people to give their support to the Poppy Appeal.
He said: “It is down to the general public to support this and they have been brilliant at supporting the Poppy Appeal previously.
“They raised just over £10,000 in Leyland last year. The call is to raise just a little bit more each year.”
Mr Cooper will lead the sale of the poppies and they have already been distributed to businesses in Leyland ready for the official launch of this year’s appeal.
Volunteers will sell poppies at Morrisons in Leyland from Saturday until Monday, November 11 - Armistice Day.
They will also be sold at Lidl, Aldi, Asda and Tesco from Friday, November 1.
Mr Cooper already has a team of volunteers, but he is urgently calling for more people to come forward to help with this year’s collections.
He said: “We are still looking for volunteers.
“We have broken the day into four shifts of two hours between 9am and 5pm and we have not even filled all the two-hour slots with one person. I would ideally like to have two people in each store.
“If anyone would like to volunteer, there is still time and there are still collections to do.”
To get involved with the Poppy Appeal, call Mr Cooper on 01772 304414 or 07802 937952.