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Keith Carter and Eddie Coleman

Once again the Orihuela Costa Branch of The Royal British Legion has smashed all records. As the membership has more than doubled in the years since it was first established 6 years ago so has the amount collected in it’s annual Poppy Appeal, and all against a background of economic austerity.

In 2008, when the branch was first formed, there were just over 50 members. The Poppy Appeal raised 6,200 euro. Since that time the membership has increased to 150 with the most recent appeal collecting over 31,000 euro. That brought the accumulated total to €153,250, all of which has, or will be, used here in Spain to help ex service personnel and their dependants.

Those who support this fine charity know all too well the good use to which collections are put in supporting those who have fallen on hard times and here on the Orihuela Costa, in recent months, the extremely active Welfare Committee, led by former RAF technician Jim Watt, has spent over 13,000 euro on vital medical equipment, including hearing aids, wheelchairs, glasses, mobility scooters, apparatus and utility bills for the home and even weekly shopping provisions.

The funding itself has been raised through a variety of functions and events, not just appeals in local restaurants and bars but from the popular RBL golf days, sponsored fitness programmes, the distribution of poppies at markets, shopping centres, offices, major stores and airports as well as at a multitude of variety shows, bbq’s, dinners and local dances. Of course charity legislation now requires that poppies are not sold but ‘distributed in return for donations’.

For the last 4 years the appeal has been coordinated by Keith Carter who has also been holding down the appointment of Chairman, perhaps the two most demanding positions in the Branch. During that time he has worked tirelessly in support of the organisation and much of that achieved, and the funding raised, is as a direct result of his efforts.

At the recent Annual General Meeting, Keith decided to relinquish the post of Poppy Appeal Coordinator, the mantle of which has now been assumed by Eddie Coleman. He will, however, retain the position of Branch Chairman for the next 12 months and work alongside his replacement during a period of handover.

“It has been a great privilege to be involved with the Poppy Appeal”, said Keith, “knowing that the funding we have raised has been put to such a valuable and important use. I wish Eddie Coleman the very best in his current and future endeavours.”

Membership of The Royal British Legion is open to all. You do not have to be ex military to join. The Orihuela Costa Branch meets every 3rd Thursday in the month at the Olympia Restaurant, Mil Palmeras starting at 7.30pm. www.orihuelacostarbl.com

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45795/

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