Poppy pride

East Durham College principal Stuart Wesselby (centre) with (from left) Stacey Luckhurst, Gary Harding, Craig Tinning, Jody Hancock, Liz Starkey and Roslyn Hastie-Murray
East Durham College principal Stuart Wesselby (centre) with (from left) Stacey Luckhurst, Gary Harding, Craig Tinning, Jody Hancock, Liz Starkey and Roslyn Hastie-Murray

YOUNG volunteers have been recognised for their hard work in supporting the Poppy Appeal.

vTalent Year volunteers at East Durham College, in Peterlee, were presented with a certificate to confirm an Agreement of Affiliation between the college and the Peterlee branch of the Royal British Legion.

Volunteers attended the Lord Lieutenant’s Competition Presentation Evening for the 2010 Poppy Appeal, held at Northumbria University.

The certificate was presented to the volunteers, alongside Robert Sherwin, chairman of the Peterlee branch, by Don Rutherford, County Chairman of the Royal British Legion Northumbria.

All affiliated cadet force units and civilian youth groups who had helped with the annual Poppy Appeal were also presented with a certificate and the college was delighted to receive a third place certificate of achievement for raising £516.60.

This year, seven per cent of the £980,000 raised within the Northumbria Region had been contributed through the hard work of cadet and youth groups.

Liz Starkey, volunteer co-ordinator at the college, said: “The vTalent volunteers played a major role in promoting the Poppy Appeal throughout the college.

“Their aim was to get every student to donate and wear a poppy, as well as to raise awareness of the tremendous work of the Royal British Legion.

“The success of the appeal was evident by the massive number of students who attended the two-minute silence in the atrium at the Peterlee campus and in the Remembrance Garden at the Houghall Campus.

“I’m very proud of the achievements of the volunteers.”

Student and volunteer Jody Hancock, 19, from Shotton Colliery, plans to volunteer at an orphanage in South Africa over the summer, before going to university in September.

She said: “I am really proud of what the volunteers had achieved.

“When I first started volunteering at the college I had no idea of the personal rewards that volunteering could bring.

“I now feel very proud of my time at the college and my achievements.

“Attending the presentation was amazing.”

Another volunteer, Daniel Wilson, said: “I feel really proud to say I helped the college to contribute so much money to the Poppy Appeal.”

Roslyn Hastie-Murray, of the Royal British Legion, who also works at the college, said: “The vTalent team have set the standard for the Poppy Appeal collection at East Durham College.

“I hope the students will continue the work and aim to beat the previous year’s figure.

“I’m very proud to have the college affiliated to the Royal British Legion.”

vTalent Year is a £10.5m national full-time volunteering programme for young people.

It’s aim is to provide effective pathways into work and education for the young volunteers.