Poppy appeal organiser needed in Chichester

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A forces charity says it is in desperate need of a volunteer to coordinate a popular fundraising campaign in Chichester which generates thousands of pounds each year.

The Royal British Legion needs someone to lead the city’s Poppy Appeal and coordinate all the collection boxes and volunteers.

The appeal has been without a coordinator for some months now and the charity says it is important it has someone in place for this year.

Last year the appeal raised just shy of £40,000 in Chichester, one of the biggest fundraising regions in West Sussex which is why the role is so significant.

County community fundraiser Sarah Welsby said ideally it wanted someone to sign up in time for spring.

“It is a big task, but there is a lot of support out there. There is a very good team of volunteers within Chichester, some of whom have been doing it for 30 years, we just need someone to lead from the front.

“The people who do it say it is a fantastic opportunity to meet lots of people, and you realise how generous people are, especially now when people haven’t got much money but will still put a £10 note in the box. It’s good to know there is still the support out there for our service men and women.

“It is a serious role, but at the same time it is fun, people enjoy it, people get a lot out of it and the people I speak to who do it say it is very supportive.”

The organiser is responsible for organising and conducting collections in public and private places, and helping ensure the maximum funds possible are raised from their district.

They also need to be able to recruit and train suitable collectors and helpers to achieve maximum coverage of the district.

Other duties include ensuring funds raised are kept safe and sent on to the Royal British Legion as soon as possible.

They are also in charge of ordering sufficient poppies, wreaths and other supplies for the area.

“You need to be organised and efficient, a knowledge of the services is helpful; people will stop and ask you where the money is going, how much is being raised, who the money is going to.”

Mrs Welsby said the charity provided much-needed support to serving service men and women and their families.

A lot of help is centred around welfare, it has a prison in-reach service and its Civvy Street campaign supports those leaving the forces, while its Be The Boss scheme provides grants to those looking to set up their own business after leaving the forces.

She added it did a lot of fundraising throughout the year, not just the Poppy Appeal.

She said the organiser’s role supported all these projects and was an essential role.

“There are a lot of military families along the south coast and we have a serving military community on Thorney Island.

“Our girls and boys are coming back with lost arms and legs, this is happening on a very frequent basis and sadly we don’t hear enough about them, that’s where the money needs to be spent.”

For more information about the role email swelsby@britishlegion.org.uk or call 07884 235186.