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  1. ITV Report

Urgent appeal for new generation of poppy sellers

A new generation of poppy collectors is urgently needed in Dorset to help raise funds for war veterans. The Poppy Appeal is just a few weeks away but many of those who normally sell the iconic flowers are hanging up their collection tins because of their age.

This year's poppies have already begun to arrive at the Royal British Legion in Poole but there are fears this years appeal could lose tens of thousands of pounds because there aren't enough volunteers to sell them. But organisers are keen to explain you don't have to be a veteran to sell poppies.

The Poppy appeal was started to help veterans of the First World War. That generation may be gone and the Second World War veterans dwindling in numbers too, but the Legion says the need to help those who served in more recent conflicts remains as important as ever.

But like the veterans, gaps are appearing in the ranks of the poppy collectors as long-term volunteers retire or become to frail too carry on. If an area doesn't have an organiser for instance it can lose the appeal tens of thousands of pounds. They need a new generation to fill the gaps to continue helping former servicemen and women.

"Normally you find that around ten years after the conflicts you see cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder appear and again it's those cases that present themselves to the British Legion asking for help and so there's always going to be a need."

– Ian Jarvis, The Royal British Legion

Anyone who believes in the cause, whether in work or not, student or pensioner is urged to contact their local British Legion to see if they can help, and give some of their time to those who gave so much to their country.