Darwen teenager’s boost for Poppy Appeal
DARWEN’S Royal British Legion branch bosses are celebrating after recruiting a new member, 14-year-old Tony McWhirter.
The Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio student, of Green Street East, became the branch’s youngest member after deciding to join up.
Tony, who signed up after becoming an Army Cadet and learning what the Legion was all about, has since helped the branch with its Poppy Appeal collections.
He has also pledged to do a sponsored walk to Darwen Tower, dropping poppy seeds along the way in the hope that they will blossom in the future.
Tony said: “A friend told me I should join a while ago but I didn’t because I didn’t realise what the Legion did.
“But after I joined the Cadets, I discovered it supported our soldiers and I wanted to get involved.
“I would like to join the Army when I am older and I hope the Legion continues to thrive because it does an important job.”
Darwen branch Poppy Appeal organiser Stephen Potter, who has just opened a shop selling poppies in the front of Darwen Market, said he was delighted Tony had volunteered.
He said: “We have very few members of Tony’s age so we hope he sets an example and others decide to get on board. Youngsters like Tony are the future of the Legion and without them it will die out.
“At the minute we are thriving, especially since we relocated to The Anchor pub, but a lot of the members are older people.We need other teenagers to take note of what Tony is doing and follow suit.”
Mr Potter said he was hopeful the poppy shop’s central location would help make this a record-breaking year for fundraising in Darwen.
He said: “Darreners are very proud and also very generous, so I hope they come out and support us as well as they usually do.”
Bespoke poppy badges bearing a Spitfire and the Darwen British Legion logo are available for £2 from the shop, as are a host of other items such as wristbands and the traditional poppy.
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