Poppy Appeal

The Poppy Appeal in Byfield and District

For 2020/2021 we were unable to operate static or door to door Poppy Appeal collections because of that damned virus. We are most grateful to all those who still supported us anyway; you filled the collection boxes in shops and pubs around our District.

This year was also one of change for our Branch in other ways. On the Poppy Appeal front, John Russell BEM, our Chairman and previously very successful Poppy Appeal Organiser (PAO) handed over his baton to a younger recruit. Our new PAO Tom Smith, has certainly had a difficult introduction to his new role. John's boots were large ones to fill anyway, as can be seen if you scroll down this page and compare previous figures. However, Tom has successfully weathered this year's unprecedented situation and come-through with flying colours. Before Christmas 2020 he was able to bank over £4,000. Indeed, our District's contributions may be a lot more than that because some donated directly to the RBL using their on-line facilities, of which we have no record. AND we don't tot-up the final total take we are able to record until next summer, so please, continue to contribute.

The Appeal was also supported in new and innovative ways. The best example of that was when Byfield's Beavers, Cubs and Scouts offered to recycle last year's poppy wreaths. There was a shortage of poppies this year because the RBL's Poppy Factory had to close, again because of that virus. So the youngsters of our District removed all the wreath poppies, which are made of material that can't otherwise be readily recycled, and made those into posies and displays. They then sold those to family, friends and others in the area. By so doing, they ended-up raising more than ten percent of our total pre-Christmas contributions.

We were so grateful for their help we felt the occasion needed to be commemorated. We marked that event by our President presenting Certificates of Thanks to representatives of the Beaver Lodge, the Cub Pack and Scout Troop based here. The images below tell the story. From the adult perspective, on the extreme left of the pictures are Graham, our new Membership Secretary and Terry, who has now relinquished that role to him. Behind the Beavers you can see Helen, our Group Scout Leader and then on the right of the War Memorial Tom, our new PAO. On the extreme right is our President John, who made the presentations.


In previous years...

As of March 2020, for the 2019/2020 PA, John has banked £9,379.32. We don't now expect to equal last year's record BUT we are getting closer and closer as the weeks go by and remember, final accounting isn't done until mid 2020.

LAST YEAR £12,647.29 was our final 2018/19 total. It will be a challenge to achieve something similar this year. 

John commented that he "would like to give a big Thank You to his team because he finally banked £12,647.29 from 2018/19's appeal. This WAS an exceptional year's campaign. Thanks to all those in our District for your help, support and generous donations that makes these efforts so worthwhile."

In 2017/18 £10,209.32 was our final total. That's the target to beat for next year.

In 2017, with thanks to John, collectors & DONORS we just made it past 2016's record...

In 2016 A BIG "THANK YOU" was given to all our contributors, you were WONDERFUL...

BECAUSE... WE WERE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE that the 2016 Byfield & District RBL Poppy Appeal BROKE THE £10,000 Barrier, with £10,054.42 banked by that year's end. Thanks to everyone involved that enabled us to achieve that excellent result.

Between the end of October to 12th November in any given year (except 2020 due to the health crisis) we are to be found out on the roads, streets, lanes and byways collecting like crazy. Even in 2020, boxes were stationed in churches, shops, pubs and anywhere else we could think of, wreaths were provided and donations received, all of which allowed us to support this worthy cause.

Of course, as with anything where targets are involved, this provides quite a challange for any year's efforts. 

Going back in history Byfield and District Branch are happy that during 2015 we improved on 2014's Poppy Appeal total.

Yes, we then (as now) had three more villages in our District (and their in betweeners) and we know our overall collection reflects that but proportionally it's still a plus for us. The total was £9,366.24 nett (i.e. excluding Gift Aid supplements) - "now we're cookin' with gas..."

Many thanks to everyone, most of all the givers but not forgetting the collectors who have turned-up trumps once more.

For the record, the year before (2014) we banked £7,307 for the Poppy Appeal, passing the previous year's (2013) final total of £6,866.

As one can prove anything by using statistics, you can see our percentage gain in 2014/15 was just under 6.5% over the previous year, which beats most present investment portfolios! However as that year we only had eleven villages (we count Catesby as two by the way, even though they are tiny) in our District and now we have three more, we needed to increase our take to match our previous record and effectively stand still.

Our Poppy Appeal Organiser, John Russell BEM, now has many years of experience as our premier fundraiser but has his work cut-out marshalling all those volunteers around our District who knock on doors and sell poppies direct, let alone managing all the static poppy sales sites under his remit.

Like many of our members, most of John’s team are not getting any younger and indeed year-on-year some have been forced to drop-out. Filling the void isn’t easy and we are very keen to welcome volunteers, Legion members or not, to assist us in this satisfying work. If you can help, please call John on 01327 260206 (or any of our squad).

John runs a pretty slick operation but is also open to suggestion regarding methods of increasing our turnover.

In 2016 the collection dates were Saturday 29th October to Saturday 12th November.

In 2015 our Poppy Appeal collection dates were from Wednesday 21st October to Wednesday 11th November 2015. 

Poppy People

Anyone interested in helping in the next Poppy Appeal should contact our Poppy Appeal Coordinator on 01327 260206.

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