Horsham volunteer asks supporters to dig deep for this year’s Poppy Appeal

Horsham Poppy appeal (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151027-162254008

Horsham Poppy appeal (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151027-162254008

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Horsham’s annual Poppy Appeal was launched yesterday (Monday October 26) to remember the fallen in the First World War.

Poppies and other merchandise are available for purchase from the unit previously owned by The Cloth Store in the Carfax until Sunday November 8.

Horsham Poppy appeal (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151027-162306008

Horsham Poppy appeal (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151027-162306008

The small team of volunteers is lead by Horsham Poppy Appeal organiser Dianne Loates, whose family served in the armed forces across generations.

Dianne said: “The fact that you’re helping others, especially the forces’ families, the bereaved and, of course, the wounded, gives you such a sense of doing something yourself (to help).

“If you can’t do it any other way, you can do it by just giving a few hours helping to collect.”

Dianne said she is aiming to collect £25,000 this year.

She said: “If I get over that it would be a huge bonus.”

Dianne was awarded the WSCT Achievement award at last year’s County Times Community Awards for her commitment to the charity.

She added: “Winning the award was a huge boost to my morale but, at the same time, we are a team and we boost each other up all the time.

“We do get a bit low if we don’t get people coming in so, if they can come and see us, we’d love it.”

Dianne is also urging people to become Royal British Legion members this year. She said: “It’s giving something of yourself to others.”

Amongst the volunteers is Crawford Butler, the longest-serving Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London who laid the first of 888,246 poppies last year as part of the centenary of the First World War.

He said: “It was an honour and a privilege, it didn’t really hit home until we filled them up around the tower.

“When you looked at them you thought every one of those represents a life lost and that’s when it hit you.”

Mr Butler also served in the army for 25 years and has had family members serve in the armed forces.

Poppy Appeal collectors can also be found in Horsham’s Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, while street collectors can be found on Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 8.

The shop will be open every day Monday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm and Sunday from 10am until 2pm.

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