A pensioner who is stepping down as organiser of the Melton Poppy Appeal after raising £150,000 over the last seven years has made a desperate appeal for someone to come forward to replace him.
Malcolm Bryson (83) and his team of volunteers across the borough this year collected more than £24,000 from sales of the iconic poppies.
He has co-ordinated the annual effort for the Melton branch of the Royal British Legion since 2012 but he is ready to call it a day after completing another successful year of fundraising on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Malcolm, known affectionately as Jock, said he would be delighted if a younger person came forward to manage the local appeal for next year.
“If we can’t find anyone I don’t know what will happen next year,” he said.
“I am doing what I can to find a replacement.
“We had another good year this year and I am proud of all the volunteers who have again helped to mak e it a success.
“We now need an organiser to do it next year.”
As well as collections in the town of Melton Mowbray there are volunteer helpers and businesses collecting poppy money in many of the surrounding villages in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday.
Among those communities which contribute are Asfordby, Frisby, Grimston, Saxelbye, Old Dalby, Nether Broughton, Ab Kettleby, Scalford, Waltham, Wymondham, Somerby and Cold Overton.
“Our poppy appeal is around a 40-mile radius of Melton and we have collections in shops and pubs as well as the volunteers going door-to-door,” said Malcolm.
“It helps if the organiser can drive so they can get out to the villages to deliver the poppies.
“You are only really busy for the four to six weeks leading up to Remembrance Day but the organiser doesn’t do it all on their own.
“We’ve got about 20 volunteers who work hard to make sure the poppies are sold and the money is collected.”
Malcolm said he will still help next year with collection in the town centre but he won’t organise the appeal.
Anyone interested in the role can call the legion office on 01664 563302.