Call to recruit Sunderland Poppy Appeal volunteers

The Royal British Legion need you!

The national charity is crying out for Wearside volunteers in the run up to Remembrance Sunday.

Sunderland's annual Poppy Appeal. From left  former Sunderland AFC footballer Bobby Kerr, Royal British Legion Chair Vince Harris , mayor consort Keith MacKnight, poppy volunter Steve Hope and Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Doris MacKnight

Sunderland's annual Poppy Appeal. From left former Sunderland AFC footballer Bobby Kerr, Royal British Legion Chair Vince Harris , mayor consort Keith MacKnight, poppy volunter Steve Hope and Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Doris MacKnight

Mayor of Sunderland Doris MacKnight welcomed regional officers from the charity to the Civic Centre yesterday, along with special guest and 1973 FA Cup winning Sunderland AFC skipper Bobby Kerr, to launch this year’s appeal by buying the first poppy.

Royal British Legion Sunderland Branch Chairman Vince Harris said: “We really need volunteers, especially towards the last two weeks before Remembrance Sunday, we always fall short.

“By helping out for just a morning or an afternoon a week, on the stalls in your local supermarket would be a great help.”

Parts of the region raised £100,000 from poppy sales last year.

The charity has now branched out and sells a range of gifts, stationary and clothing.

“Putting stalls up encourages people to buy more than just a poppy and to remember those people who fought for us, not just for the two weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday, but all year round,” said Mr Harris.

“It means a great deal to us that the Mayor of Sunderland helps launch our annual appeal, it’s a tremendous gesture on behalf of the whole city.”

Former Black Cats captain Bobby Kerr said: “I think the Poppy appeal is a very good thing.

“It’s important to remember all those who serve in our armed forces and I have always been very proud to support the appeal.”

The annual visit has become a Mayoral tradition to help demonstrate the council and community’s support for the charity.

Coun MacKnight said: “As Mayor I am proud to buy the symbolic ‘first Poppy’ on behalf of the city to help launch this year’s fund-raising appeal.

“More than 26,000 people with service records and their families live in Sunderland, who are all deserving of our continued help and support.

“The money spent on every Poppy sold in the city goes toward providing just that, and I’d invite everyone to buy one and wear it with pride as Remembrance weekend approaches.”

“Sunderland has a strong military tradition and we are always keen to demonstrate support for all the servicemen and women past and present from our community who have served this country with such distinction and honour over many generations.”

Anyone who would like to help with this year’s appeal should call 0191 567 0112 or 0785 552 2218.