Hartlepool sets a new Poppy Appeal record at almost £70,000
Generous Hartlepool Poppy Appeal supporters have helped raise a record total for the town.
The final amount given by the public topped almost £70,000 for last year's poppy appeal which coincided with the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Hartlepool Poppy Appeal coordinator Sian Cameron received confirmation in the last few days of the final figure of £69,400 - beating the previous year's then record of £62,000.
She thanked supporters and her dedicated team of volunteers.
Sian, who took over the role when her father Ian Cameron died in 2010, said: "I feel overwhelmed, proud and a massive sense of satisfaction.
"I think a large part of the reason for it is that it was the centenary year, but on the whole it is just the generosity of the people of the town.
"Time and time again when it comes to charities they show just how kind and generous and willing they are to back charity be it local or nationally.
"The money raised will help all manner of servicemen in their every day lives, serving and ex serving personnel."
The annual appeal runs for two weeks every year in the run up to Remembrance Sunday and sees volunteers send out 400 collection tins across he town and man stalls in Middleton Grange shopping centre and the big supermarkets.
Sian, whose work with the appeal is accommodated by her employers NEETA Training, in Stockton, added: "It is a massive team effort. Without the volunteers it wouldn't work.
"From cadets to he veterans, everyone gets involved including the Rotary Club, RAFA (Royal Air Force Association), SSAFA (the armed forces charity) and individuals.
"One lady clears her diary for the full two weeks and spends it in the shopping centre.
"A 15-year-old lad spends his whole half term with me and when he goes back to school he comes down every night after school.
"Without those generous folk we wouldn't get the total we do year on year."
Last November, Sian was invited to attend two prestigious remembrance events in London for her dedication to the appeal.
She was nominated by the Royal British Legion to represent the region at the annual televised Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
And the following day she attended a special Remembrance Sunday service at Westminster Abbey to mark 100 years of the Armistice which was attended by the Prime Minister and senior members of the Royal Family.