Can you help? - Royal British Legion struggles to recruit volunteers for this year’s Poppy Appeal in Norwich

Remembrance Day poppies; Poppy Appeal; Picture: James Bass

Remembrance Day poppies; Poppy Appeal; Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

It is an appeal that helps support some of the most vulnerable former servicemen and women across the city.

Lyn Hatch, community fundraiser for Norfolk,

Lyn Hatch, community fundraiser for Norfolk, - Credit: Archant

But this year the Royal British Legion is struggling to find enough volunteers to help with its Poppy Appeal in Norwich.

The charity had hoped to raise more than £70,000 from its collections around the city centre.

However, this will only be possible if enough people give up some of their time to volunteer next month.

And that is why the Norwich Evening News has today teamed up with the organisation to urge readers to get involved.

Lyn Hatch, community fundraiser for Norfolk, said: 'The Poppy Appeal is extremely important as we still support a lot of people in Norwich, including a lot of younger service personnel and older veterans who still need help.

'But what we need now are volunteers, especially in Norwich. If someone wants to help collect for two hours or more, that is fine. Whatever time they can give, we would be more than grateful.'

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The charity is seeking to recruit 30 volunteers to help with supermarket and street collections in the city centre, Old Catton and Lakenham.

There will also be the opportunity to volunteer in the charity's new shop in Castle Mall when it opens next month.

Miss Hatch, who has helped with the event for several years, said there were more than 90 poppy appeal organisers across Norfolk.

But she said there were none within the centre of Norwich, and last year she had just 20 volunteers helping out in the city.

'We have a lot of elderly members who have been doing it for a long time and take great pride in the Poppy Appeal,' she said.

'But we need more people to help them.'

Miss Hatch believed changes to the working retirement age and people's lifestyles meant fewer people were able to find time to volunteer.

This year's Poppy Appeal launches on October 27 and runs until Armistice Day on November 11.

John Boisson, the charity's county chairman for Norfolk, said: 'Volunteers are crucial and volunteering is the backbone of what the legion is about. It is about giving back to those who have served and given so much themselves.

'Without the money the Poppy Appeal raises, we would not be able to do half as much in terms of the support we give to the armed forces community.'

To become a volunteer with this year's appeal, contact Lyn Hatch on 07795426529 or email for more information.

Have you volunteered with the Poppy Appeal? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.