Stomarket Royal British Legion branch delight as Poppy Appeal record broken

The Stowmarket branch of the Royal British Legion celebrate a record breaking year.

The Stowmarket branch of the Royal British Legion celebrate a record breaking year. - Credit: Archant

Members of a Royal British Legion branch are celebrating after breaking their Poppy Appeal fundraising record for the second year running.

The Stowmarket branch appeal this year has already topped £29,000, beating last year’s record-breaking sum of £27,700.

And Poppy Appeal organiser Rachel Oakley believes the appeal will top the £30,000 mark before it ends in September.

Mrs Oakley said the supermarkets in the town raised more than £11,000 between them, with other businesses in the town raising an additional £9,000.

She added: “From our static boxes we’ve been taking amounts from £12 and up – we say every penny counts and it does.

“People have taken part in sponsored shaves and sponsored silences. Individual people making money helps us too.

“A lot of people who collect are not members but believe in what the Poppy Appeal stands for.”

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Mrs Oakley said the Lions club in the town also helped the legion raise funds, and that schools in the area also supported the appeal.

She added the key to increasing the total was expanding the appeal team.

“I just expanded the teams and got people where the footfall would be. I have got counters, people who can’t get out but want to help so it’s just growing the teams,” Mrs Oakley said.

“All the aspects come together and it’s my job to make sure we get the best we can out of Stowmarket.”

In previous years Mrs Oakley said the targets had been set lower, but after smashing the records two years running, she knows the potential to raise the same amount next year is there.

“Everybody is behind the appeal, we’re very fortunate, and people are very positive about the armed forces for what do and what they did.”

Mrs Oakley did however say the legion would not get carried away, and would remain realistic with their fundraising targets.

She said: “We’ll be aiming for somewhere between £25,000 and £30,000. I’m confident we’ll probably go for £30,000 though.

“We do want to continue on the up and keep the total steadily improving.

“The people to thank are the appeal team, the supermarkets, all the individuals who raised money for us, and the people of Stowmarket.”

The legion has two fundraising events coming up.

On May 8 there is a collection at the ASDA store at the Meadow Centre to mark the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, and from 10am on August 15 there is an all day music and entertainment event.

People are being invited to busk for 30 minutes to raise funds for the appeal.

The equipment for the event has been provided by the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, which is based in the town.

To book a slot, email Mrs Oakley at