poppy field

West Felton

On 4th November the branch held its annual general meeting. The officers were returned unchanged for the new year as were the committee members apart from a couple of changes. Iain Butler now joins the committee.

Keith Diggens gave his report on the year’s activities and concluded that we remain a happy and successful branch in spite of some disquiet at the changes taking place. It is recognised that an organisation that last year awarded grants to 25,300 beneficiaries and spent on average £1.6m per week on its welfare work needs to be managed as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. This usually means increased centralisation and professionalism.

John Hanmer provided the branch financial report - still solvent! The branch is always grateful for gifts and legacies which, along with local fundraising events are the traditional means of adding to branch funds. These funds are used to run the branch and are quite separate from the Poppy money. Since most members claim no expenses and all catering and raffle prizes are donated by members and their friends, we actually spend very little on admin. Our biggest expenditure is usually a donation to Byng House, Southport, centre where the Legion offers much-needed breaks to ex-Service and serving personnel and their families.

Bob Spencer gave a particularly upbeat, positive report saying that the new Welfare system is working really well. He has been kept busy dealing with cases throughout Shropshire but, thankfully, there were no official welfare cases in our area this year.

Mike Johnson also gave a cheerful report. He remains amazed at the generosity of the people in our area and the dedication of the collectors. His only problem is that they are a dwindling band, some having done the job for the best part of 40 years and now seeking a well deserved ‘retirement’. He will be delighted to hear from anyone who feels they can help next Oct/November.

The AGM was followed by the routine November meeting when final arrangements were made for the Remembrance events. A letter thanking the members for their good wishes was received from Glennys Allen who is doing well after her operation.

The branch meets in The Punch Bowl and new members are made very welcome. Next meeting: Monday 2nd December, 8pm.  Tel: 01691 610300.