Double bloom in Wisbech

Armed Forces Day. Wisbech Market Place. Pictured are Royal British Legion Wisbech. ANL-160619-191615009

Armed Forces Day. Wisbech Market Place. Pictured are Royal British Legion Wisbech. ANL-160619-191615009

Wisbech’s Royal British Legion fundraisers are overwhelmed by the generosity of the community after this year’s Poppy Appeal donations doubled last year’s efforts to already reach £43,500.

With around five months left of this year’s appeal, the committee are pleased to see their hard work has paid off in raising awareness of the charity’s work, particularly among the Eastern European community.

Chairman Brian Bearryman said: “We’re only a small branch with only a few able-bodied volunteers but the public have really helped us this year.

“We have a very high Eastern European population and they have given no end of donations. They’ve been really generous despite it not being much to do with them and not being their war. We really appreciate their efforts.”

The charity works to support ex-servicemen and women, focusing entirely on the welfare of veterans and their families.

Mr Bearryman said: “The RBL is one of the most well-kept secrets in the country, one of the problems we face is that our ex-servicemen are often too proud to ask for help. So we need help from the public to help us identify those who really need our support.”

The Wisbech branch of the charity hold supermarket collections and fundraising events throughout the year including their upcoming Picnic in the Park, which is to be held at Wisbech town park bandstand this Sunday.

Events co-ordinator Terry Van-Santen, who is also an ex-serviceman for the Life Guards Household Cavalry, said: “RBL Wisbech are holding this event to commemorate the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of The Somme, but also as a thank you to the people of Wisbech for their generosity in this year’s Poppy Appeal.”

He added: “It’s so important we don’t let the people forget the ultimate sacrifice these brave men and women made so that we can have the freedom we do today. We’re celebrating the lives of those who never came back.”

The event will run from 12-5pm, with a special service at 4.45pm to remember those who lost their lives.

Music will be provided throughout the afternoon by Marham Bluebirds Military Choir, The Clarkson Singers Mixed Choir, Thomas Clarkson Academy Orchestra and a 1940’s tribute from The Covergirls.

There will also be a collection of charity stalls and free refreshments donated by shops and supermarkets in the town.