Poppy Appeal for young collectors in Diss

An appeal has been made for younger people to come forward to become Poppy Appeal collectors and help raise money in a Norfolk town.

The organiser of the annual Royal British Legion appeal for the Diss area fears there may soon be a shortage of collectors in the town when the current volunteers are unable to continue through age.

Victoria Giles, 30, of John Hill Close, Long Stratton said the 30 collectors she had in the town was enough for now, but there may come a time in the future when more would be needed so there was a need to start recruiting now.

She said: 'The volunteers are brilliant. They keep helping with the appeal year in, year out, but obviously they will get to the stage when they are too old to be helping anymore.'

The mother-of-four, who works at SignLine at Tivetshall St Margaret, believed there may be a lack of interest among the younger generation as they had not directly experienced the effects of war in the way their elders had.

'I think the older generation had had to live through world wars, but I think younger people today probably don't know much about it unless they know someone in the armed services,' Ms Giles added.

The single mother was inspired to become a Poppy Appeal organiser by her ex-husband Aaron Jeffery, 34, a lance corporal in the British Army's 16 Air Assault Brigade, based at Colchester.

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She combines her Legion duties with her work and looking after her four children- Lewis, 11, Joshua, eight, Harry, seven and Ruby, three.

Modestly, she said: 'I don't worry about it because it is only a few weeks of the year. You get a few busy weeks in the run up to Remembrance Day on November 11, then you don't have to worry about it.'

Lynn Hatch, the Legion's community fundraiser for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: 'Somebody's wife had cancer and somebody else had been poorly. It has just got to the stage where people have not been well or they are quite elderly and they can't collect anymore.'

House-to-house collections will be taking place in Diss between October 29 and November 13, while collectors will be in the Tesco store from November 3 until 6 and in Morrisons on November 4 and 5.

To collect for the appeal, volunteers have to be 16 and over and be able to spare a few hours a week.

To volunteer, phone Ms Giles on 01508 531568.

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