POPPY Appeal chiefs in Hartlepool have praised the generosity of supporters during this year’s campaign despite the harsh financial climate.
The town is set to give around £35,000 to the Royal British Legion’s work in supporting forces heroes and their families.
Organisers hope to get as near to last year’s total of £40,000 or even break it, as money is still coming in to the appeal.
Hartlepool’s Poppy Appeal campaign is co-ordinated by volunteer Sian Cameron, 31.
Sian said she has been amazed at people’s generosity this year when many people are feeling the added pressure on their pockets.
She said: “Everybody involved in the appeal is totally surprised and shocked at the level of generosity as we know it is tough for a lot of people but seeing is believing.
“We are probably looking at raising about £35,000 but we are still collecting and counting.
“Hartlepool United auctioned poppy football shirts this year and they raised between £5,000 and £6,000 which they have kindly donated and that has increased our total.”
Sian took on the role of leading the town’s Poppy Appeal following the death of her dad Ian Cameron in 2010.
This year there was 400 tins across town in shops, pubs, schools and churches.
Hartlepool’s major supermarkets hosted stalls along with Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
Sian added: “I absolutely love it. A lot of friends and family have been helping me and run stalls.
“The money people raise is massively important. Without people’s help and support the Royal British Legion would not be able to do all the great work it does.”
The Poppy Appeal helps serving members of the country’s Armed Forces as well as ex-service men and women, their carers and families.
The legion aims to help the 500,000 people most in need, half of whom are below retirement age.
Last year’s appeal raised £32m nationally and the target for this year is £37million.
The grand total raised by Hartlepool will be announced early next year.