POPPY appeal fund-raisers got off to a roaring start.
Launched at supermarket Asda in The Galleries, Washington, £2,435 was generated towards helping servicemen and women.
Last year, £31,000 was raised in Washington towards the appeal, a huge increase on the previous two years.
Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson, who is honorary president of Washington Royal British Legion (RBL), was there to show her support.
Malcolm Pickering, secretary of the RBL, said the organisation and its members would be doing their best to better last year’s total.
The 56-year-old, a retired chief petty officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, said: “For us to raise that amount on the first day is great.
“It’s about £300 up on last year.
“Sharon has been a great help as always.”
Mr Pickering added that businesses in the area have been hugely supportive, taking on collection tins and display boxes.
“Virgin Money, McDonald’s, Gala Bingo and the bowling alley have all agreed to help.
“It’s great to see and The Galleries general management are fantastic.”
Volunteers are still needed to help with this year’s poppy appeal.
People can stand in breaks in fund-raising days between November 5 and November 9 at Asda in The Galleries.