Awards for Dereham branch of the Royal British Legion

The Dereham branch of the Royal British Legion has been awarded the Royal Challenge Cup for the larg

The Dereham branch of the Royal British Legion has been awarded the Royal Challenge Cup for the largest increase in Poppy Appeal sales in Norfolk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Royal British Legion's Dereham District Branch has won the Royal Challenge Cup after seeing the biggest increase in their Poppy Appeal fundraising.

The team of collectors brought in more than £30,500 last year and have already collected £26,000 this year with a number of months left to bring in even more. Former RAF engineer John English, poppy appeal organiser, said: 'For Dereham District Branch it is tremendous. We have a got ourselves good collecting bases and a very good team, and the people in Dereham and district are very generous and support us.'

He added the centenary of First World War had helped to boost interest in the Legion and the poppy appeal.

He said: 'The world is getting to be a bit of a scary place and our men and women in the forces still do their job and unfortunately still get injured. 'They need organisations like us to help them and their families.'

Peter Whitwell, Dereham's standard bearer, has also collected a trophy for being the runner-up in a competition between Norfolk's top standard bearers.

Mr Whitwell said: 'You parade and you get points for different drill movements, carrying the standard and smartness.'

While some branches of the legion have been struggling to recruit the Dereham branch has more than 150 members, ranging from their 20s to their 90s.

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