AS the annual Poppy Appal gets under way, it has been revealed that a record £470,448.69 was raised in the 2018/19 appeal by the Gwent Royal British Legion to aid families of armed forces personnel in need.

The eye-watering total – up 9.5 per cent on the previous year – was collected through various fundraising efforts between September 2018 and this month by the division.

Volunteer Poppy Appeal coordinator Mike Jones hailed the the figure, saying: “This is a massive increase from last year. From 2017 to 2018 we raised £429,596.52.


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“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Gwent for their continued support. Without them we would not have been able to raise this fantastic sum.

“The generosity from the public has again shone through. We are indebted to you all.”

The sum of money will go towards providing help and support to families who are in need.

Mr Jones also praised the late poppy seller Ron Jones, who died last month aged 102, for his efforts in helping to raise the record total sum.

“There were many people who wanted to buy a poppy just to meet Ron,” said Mr Jones.

South Wales Argus:

Ron Jones selling poppies last year

“Ron always supported the Poppy Appeal by collecting or giving talks to groups and schools. He wasn’t just a volunteer but a friend and an inspiration to all that met him.

“We at the Gwent Royal British Legion would like to thank him for his work.”

And he added that the division is currently on the look out for volunteers, saying: “We are always on the look out for members of the public who want to help us. Volunteers are needed when we visit supermarkets, stores and other places.

“Please, if you can offer your help, get in touch with us.”

As well as appealing for volunteers to help with the Poppy Appeal collections, the Royal British Legion Pontypool branch is looking for new members, having recently reformed.

South Wales Argus:

Mike Jones

The group meet on the first Monday of every month at 7pm at Pontypool Workmen's Club.

The next meeting will be on Monday, November 4.

"I would welcome anyone to come along to the next meeting," said Mr Jones. "Even if you don't want to join the branch, but want to help out with the Poppy Appeal in the area, then please come along."

To get in touch with the group, you can contact Mr Jones on either or 07875 089933