Actress Dame Barbara Windsor is urging the people of Sunderland to volunteer their spare time for the Poppy Appeal.
The EastEnders actress has joined forces with The Royal British Legion to urge Wearsiders to get involved.
Dame Barbara accompanied poppy volunteers to launch the Legion’s Poppy People campaign – a national recruitment drive for Poppy Appeal volunteers.
Dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers in Sunderland and surrounding areas are being sought to form part of The Royal British Legion’s army of fundraisers for this year's Poppy Appeal.
Each year more than 350,000 poppy volunteers are needed across the country to raise much-needed funds to support current and former Armed Forces personnel, and their families.
The legion is looking for people of all ages and backgrounds to help run the Poppy Appeal in local communities across the nation.
Volunteers are needed in Sunderland city centre and in towns and villages including New Penshaw and Washington.
Officially launching this year’s Poppy People campaign, Dame Barbara said: “I’ve been a strong supporter of The Royal British Legion for many years now, and I’ve taken part in many events like this in support of the Poppy Appeal.
“It’s a charity and cause which is close to my heart, and I feel a tremendous debt of gratitude to servicemen and women for protecting our country. It’s only right that we show our appreciation and support at this time of year.”
Peter Milne, The Royal British Legion’s Community Fundraiser for Sunderland, said: “Each year the Legion’s Poppy Appeal takes place over a two-week period leading up to Remembrance Sunday, which this year falls on 13th November.
“The appeal is The Royal British Legion’s main fundraising event of the year, and it is the UK’s biggest charity campaign. The charity relies heavily on its volunteer collectors who are out and about, rain or shine, in communities across the country.
“The Poppy People campaign highlights the hugely important contribution made by those volunteers and, it is hoped, will encourage more people to join the Legion’s army of volunteers.”
Nicola Tallett, the legion's Interim Director of Fundraising, added: "The appeal simply wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous support we receive each year from our valued volunteers.
“I know they are very much the lifeblood of the Poppy Appeal and contribute enormously to the charity year-round through a variety of roles. We’d love all who want to volunteer with us to get in contact.”
To find out more about becoming a fundraising volunteer in Sunderland during this year’s Poppy Appeal, contact Peter Milne, Community Fundraiser, 07825 316289 or email email@example.com.