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Poppy Collector Shortage Hits Parts of Cornwall

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7:35am 25th October 2013
(Updated 7:35am 25th October 2013)

Pirate FM's learnt Penzance and Bodmin are among the places in Cornwall struggling to recruit poppy collectors.

It is as the Duchy launches its annual appeal in St Austell to help ex servicemen and women.

Last year we were the only place in the country to smash the Royal British Legion's fundraising target.

Veteran Dave Parsons helps run the appeal in Bodmin. He told Pirate FM: "A lot of our old regulars have aged I'm afraid. It's like all the veterans - we're all ageing. We can't get around as easily. In a lot of cases we can't replace with younger people.

"One couple that collected last year they said to us it wasn't a case they didn't want to do, they just felt they couldn't do it any longer.

"They had reached their mid-nineties and it was time to retire."

In Newquay the charity has got more than fifty volunteers helping out, who signed up within days. Organiser Martin Prince said: "To me a poppy means remembering somebody who has fallen. It all started in the First World War and we just want to keep that going, so people will remember.

"It makes me feel so happy that people are realising that the work they are doing and donating to is making a difference to people. I do it because I want to do it - not because I have to do it."

Every week throughout the year, the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal spends £1.6 million on welfare and support to serving and ex-service community from World War One to the present day.

Annie Binding from the Legion in the Duchy said: "I think our military community is held very close to everyone's heart. The fact that, in Cornwall, our totals have been up year on year for the last three or four years just demonstrates how much the people love them.

"How wonderful is it for the general public to see their military and get behind them? It's absolutely wonderful."

If you can spare time to help collect during the poppy appeal find the contact details of Cornwall's Royal British Legion here.

:: Pirate FM will be marking Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday with a special programme ahead of the two minutes silence from 10am.

7:35am 25th October 2013

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