Yorkshire generosity lifts Poppy Appeal to over £3m

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POPPY Appeal organisers have praised readers of The Yorkshire Post for digging deep to help smash a fund-raising record.

Over £3.2m has been raised in the region since October 1, breaking the previous highest total by hundreds of thousands with another seven months of fund-raising still to go.

The Royal British Legion said Yorkshire was among the most generous regions in the country.

“This is a new record for Yorkshire and is £400,000 more than then 2013 Poppy Appeal total, so is a huge achievement,” said Debbie Harding, the charity’s manager for Yorkshire.

“Yorkshire is one of the most generous areas in the country, raising consistently high totals for the Poppy Appeal.”

She said collection tins were found to contain many more large donations than previous years.

“During the 2014 Poppy Appeal there were many more notes than the previous year in the collection tins, which is extremely heart warming.

“Every year we are staggered by Yorkshire’s generosity and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the public and The Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post for their ongoing support.”

A spokeswoman for the Legion said this newspaper’s coverage of the Poppy Appeal and the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War had helped boost fund-raising.

The amount of money raised nationally is up seven per cent with Yorkshire’s tally up over 12 per cent. West Yorkshire’s shot up 17 per cent.

Volunteer poppy sellers also played a huge part.

Former Royal Navy man Danny Dance, 55, of Pudsey, leads a team of dedicated money raisers who brought in over £100,000 in the last seven years.

This year he and his team of collectors in Pudsey raised a staggering £22,000.

The eldest helper is World War Two veteran Sam Miller, 92.

Mr Dance, a former West Yorkshire policeman, said: “Yorkshire people are sometimes given the label of being tight but the opposite is true.

“One man in his 60s came up and put £140 in the tin. He said it is a fantastic cause.”

Mr Dance and Royal British Legion colleagues raise money throughout the year, with fetes, market stalls and coffee mornings.

Last summer he was one of six people who went on a 1,000-mile motorcycle tour of France and Belgium, visiting the graves of around 100 Pudsey men who gave their lives in the Great War.

The sponsored challenge raised £10,000, split between the Poppy Appeal and a fund to repair the local war memorial which had been vandalised.

Mr Dance said the money raised was spent providing welfare advice and support to serving personnel, veterans and their families.

“I think the amount raised in Yorkshire is fantastic. People continue to be so generous.”

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