Poppy appeal which nearly threw in the towel raises £32,000

This Is Local London: Tina Corr with her poppy Tina Corr with her poppy

A poppy appeal which nearly threw in the towel has raised nearly £32,000.

The Maldens and Coombe appeal was under threat of folding after it could not find a an organiser to head the campaign.

Kingston University administrator Tina Corr, 55, and her bank-worker husband Stephen, 60, took over the sinking poppy appeal following the Royal British Legion’s call for help in the summer.

The New Malden couple of Bodley Road stepped up to the challenge after reading about former organiser June Fairclough being forced to step down due to ill health in the Surrey Comet.

Mother-of-two Mrs Corr managed to organise 65 volunteers who raised a total of £32,400.

She said: “Yet again everyone worked very hard, 65 volunteers with 785 years of service between them raised over £32,400. The team was so pleased.

"They have been doing it for so long they just swung into action.

“It was a learning curve for us but June and John Fairclough did as much as they would do in any other year.

"It was great to collect so much in our first year and we will carry on next year."

The appeal, which raises money to support serving and ex serving men and women and their families, had volunteers collecting outside Tesco, Waitrose, B&Q, the Co-op and Homebase in New Malden come rain or shine.

Dedicated students from Coombe Boys’ also collected donations outside New Malden station every morning before school and also took time out to raise money during their half term holiday.

Drama teacher Sam O’Reilly who also marched with boys on Remembrance Sunday, said: “It is truly heart-warming to see our boys pay tribute and dedicate their time to this appeal. We are extremely proud.”

Councillor Ken Smith who is also chairman of this Royal British Legion branch raised £10,200 alone.

He said: “We are a small branch so £32,400 is a remarkable thing. It was a tremendous effort."

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