Hartlepool Poppy Appeal organiser's pride at invite to Centenary events
Hartlepool Poppy Appeal organiser Sian Cameron is 'bursting with pride' after being invited to attend two prestigious remembrance events in London.
Sian, who spearheads the town’s team of collectors, has been nominated by the Royal British Legion to represent the region at this year’s Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on November 10.
The following day – Remembrance Sunday – she will also attend a special service at Westminster Abbey to mark 100 years of the Armistice in the First World War.
The Festival of Remembrance is attended by the Prime Minister and senior members of the Royal Family.
Sian, 36, who has headed the Hartlepool Poppy Appeal since the death of her dad Ian Cameron eight years ago, said: “It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I’m bursting with pride. I have never been before and it is a first for us Camerons.
“Normally I am knee deep selling poppies so I will be arranging cover this year to be able to attend.
“I am very much looking forward to it. It is just very British with all the pomp and ceremony.”
The service at Westminster Abbey takes place on the Sunday afternoon and will be broadcast live on BBC1.
Regional branches of the Royal British Legion were contacted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport seeking nominations.
Sian said the fact the events are marking the centenary of the end of the First World War makes her invite even more of an honour.
“I imagine it will just be very special,” she added. “The Poppy Appeal is an amazing organisation and it is an honour to be part of it.”
Peter Milne, the appeals community fundraiser for Durham, Sunderland and North Tees, who nominated Sian, said: “It’s a great achievement for Sian and is very well deserved.
“Sian is the epitome of what a Poppy Appeal organiser should be.
“She is hard working, dedicated and always smiling. After taking over from her father Sian has transformed the appeal in Hartlepool and last year raised more than £50,000 which is an incredible achievement.
“The appeal continues to go from strength to strength and we are lucky to have her as a volunteer.”
Last year, Sian was named one of the UK’s Points of Light by Theresa May in the awards which recognise outstanding volunteers who make a difference to the community and inspire others.
Sian’s work with the appeal is supported by her employers NETA Training in Stockton and she praised the Hartlepool team of volunteers as “amazing”.
Anyone who wants to volunteer for this year’s appeal can contact Sian on 07787 570601.