THE MAN who has led Redditch’s Poppy Appeal for more than 50 years is standing down from his role.
Peter Styler told the Standard this year’s fund-raiser would be his last, ending an association with the appeal which dates back to the 1950s.
Mr Styler first got involved with the cause when he was 22 and took on responsibility for running the annual appeal about two years later. But with his 79th birthday approaching in January, Mr Styler said it was time to hand over the reins.
“It’s just getting a bit too much for me to be perfectly honest.” he said. “Every year it has just got bigger and bigger. When I first started if you took £700 or £800 we thought we had done well and it’s just grown now. Last year we did about £17,000.
“I shall still be a member of the Royal British Legion but I have done more than my whack and it’s a job now for a younger person.
“I got involved because it’s a great cause and without ours there wouldn’t be any other cause.”
This year’s Poppy Appeal will have added significance as it is 100 years since the start of the First World War which resulted in the death or injury of 37 million people.
The message behind this year’s appeal is Live On, as a reminder to remember the fallen and the future of the living members of the Armed Forces past and present.
In Alcester the Royal British Legion is hoping to raise £13,000.
Organiser David Malin said: “The Poppy Appeal 2014 embraces the dual role of The Royal British Legion as the custodians of
Remembrance and provider of welfare support to the Armed Forces community. The poppy is a powerful symbol which is worn to commemorate all those who have fought and died in our Armed Forces and show support for those still serving today and their loved ones.”
The Alcester branch is also hosting its 25th annual Festival of Remembrance Concert tomorrow (Saturday) at The Greig Centre to boost appeal funds.
Remembrance parades and services will take place across Redditch, Alcester, Astwood Bank, Studley and surrounding areas on Remembrance Sunday, November 9.