East Yorkshire Poppy Appeal sets sights on record £400k
ORGANISERS of the Poppy Appeal have set their sights on raising a record £400,000 this year.
The Royal British Legion (RBL), Army regiments and cadets were in Hull city centre on Saturday to officially launch this year's appeal.
Last year, £390,000 was raised in East Yorkshire.
Ernie Oldfield, East Yorkshire RBL co-ordinator for the Poppy Appeal, said: "This is the first year we have launched the appeal like this in Hull.
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"The Poppy Appeal is as important now as it ever was, so we have a lot of fundraising to do.
"Last year, Hull alone made £60,000 and as a county we want to break the £400,000 mark.
"I think it is achievable."
At 11am on Saturday, town crier Michael Wood and Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding Susan Cunliffe-Lister officially launched the start of the appeal.
Mrs Cunliffe-Lister said: "This event is to promote the Festival of Remembrance at Hull City Hall on Friday, November 9.
"We are still losing soldiers in Afghanistan and for every soldier killed, 13 are left wounded. They are all young people who need our support and help and will continue to need it for a long time to come."
She went on to explain that the Poppy Appeal is a campaign she feels very passionate about.
She said: "It is a cause particularly close to my heart.
"I have been to soldiers' funerals in this region and it brings it all home for you, seeing their families.
"The least we can do is put our hands in our pockets and give some money."
At Saturday's launch, members of some of the local Army regiments held displays.
One tent, set up in Queen Victoria Square, saw soldiers taking to the treadmill.
On another stall, youngsters were invited to knock over skittles, using a mini-crane on the back of an Army truck.
At the opening, Mr Wood rang his bell and called for three cheers for the Poppy Appeal.
He said: "This is to mark the forthcoming celebration of the Festival of Remembrance on November 9.
"It will be an evening of the best entertainment.
"It is open to all family members and your support at this fundraiser will be greatly appreciated.
"Indeed, it is a cause more than worth shouting about.
"May our plumes never droop and our poppies always bloom."
The RBL is the UK's leading armed forces charity.
Its mission is to provide welfare, comradeship, representation and remembrance for the Armed Forces community.
This year, the Poppy Appeal was launched nationally on October 24 with a pop-up concert in Trafalgar Square, featuring Alesha Dixon and Pixie Lott.
It is hoped the 2012 campaign will break previous records and hit the ambitious target of £42m.
Visit www.britishlegion.org.uk for more information on how to donate online.