THE ROYAL British Legion (RBL) has received more than £80,000 in donations from Frodsham folk during the past 17 years.
It’s all thanks to annual community collections for the Poppy Appeal organised for so long by resident Graham Ainsworth.
The 70-year-old charity stalwart will next month receive a RBL award for his long and dedicated service – but now he is looking for someone younger and fitter to take over.
Mr Ainsworth said: “I sincerely thank all the people in this area for being so generous over the years, not only with money but with their time and help, especially volunteers who do the house-to-house collections – it can be a thankless task at times! The Army cadets in Frodsham have also done sterling work for me.
“But I believe we all owe a very big debt of gratitude to all our forces personnel, past and present. It’s important to support the work of the RBL and I hope we can find someone to take over from me as soon as possible.”
He said organising the annual Poppy Appeal collections in Frodsham, and lately supporting collections in Norley, involved a lot of hard practical work, ordering and distributing collection boxes for house-to-house and to local shops and schools, and arranging poppy wreaths for Remembrance Day services, as well as administration.
“But it’s only for about six weeks every year and well worth the effort. I always enjoyed it, but I need to call time on the job now.”
Mr Ainsworth – who completed his national service in western Germany as a nurse with the Royal Army Medical Corps – currently also serves as branch secretary, membership and welfare secretary to the RBL in Frodsham, which has existed since 1922 but it’s future is now uncertain.
“We only have 16 members now and most of them are in their eighties. It would be a shame if the Frodsham branch had to close, but we could do with some younger members to keep it going.”
Mr Ainsworth said he would be happy to talk to anyone interested in joining the branch or taking over as Poppy Appeal organiser. Contact him on 01928 731618, or call the RBL county fundraising officer, Julie Dove, on 01925 629757.