Bolton's poppy appeal launched
THE Poppy Appeal is one close to the heart of the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Colin Shaw.
Not only does his son serve in the Territorial Army — having spent six months in Afghanistan — but Cllr Shaw also recently met the mother of dead soldier Drummer Lee Rigby of Bury.
And it was with this in mind that the Mayor launched the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal ahead of the 99th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
Shops, schools, pubs, businesses and offices, including The Bolton News, will be offering poppies in exchange for a donation from now until Remembrance Sunday.
About 18,500 poppies were sold in the town last year.
Cllr Shaw said: “One of my sons spent six months in Afghanistan with the Territorial Army and you hear of so many that don’t come back. The mayoress and I had the honour of meeting Lee Rigby’s mother recently and when you think he had survived Afghanistan, only to be killed over here, it drives home to you how worthy a cause the Poppy Appeal is.”
The first day officially intended for people to wear poppies is Saturday, October 26, but they are now available from major shops and street collectors.
Glynis Knapman, chairman of the charity’s Bolton branch, said: “Obviously, an increase on last year would be great but if we get close to that figure we’ll have done quite well.
“We’re open to anywhere that will distribute them.
“Some firms take two or three boxes and then double whatever they raise, which we really appreciate.
“This is always a busy time for us but it’s worth it when people such as the mayor get on board and help us spread the word.”
The Royal British Legion provides help to ex-service personnel, and their families if they have died.
Mrs Knapman added: “A lot of people don’t appreciate the scope of what we do, but we even help support the children of injured or deceased service people through their education, as well as more common services such as stress counselling.”
Westhoughton Town Council agreed to buy 220 poppies, one for each resident of the town killed in the First World War, to help boost the appeal.
A remembrance concert is to be held on November 9, at 7.30pm at the Albert Halls, with a limited number of tickets still available from the ticket office.
The following morning a parade and two-minutes’ silence will take place in Victoria Square.
Volunteers are being sought to help distribute poppies from the Royal British Legion’s temporary base in Victoria Square.
To request a box of poppies to display contact 01204 415188 or 07983 858645.
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