THE 20201 Poppy Appeal in Ellesmere has exceeded all expectations, according to the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

With income reduced last year because of Covid pandemic restrictions, appeal organiser Lynne Howard feared that donations could be down again as many people struggle with cost of living increases.

But in the three weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday, the branch raised almost £8,500, around £2,000 more than a year ago.

“It’s been a wonderful response,” said Mrs Howard.

“I’m touched and delighted that once again the people of Ellesmere and district have shown amazing generosity in supporting this worthwhile cause."

With more fundraising planned in 2022, the total is expected to go even higher before the current appeal ends in September.

Local schools contributed more than £1,000 to appeal, while the Legion’s merchandise stall, run by volunteers, at Tesco’s Ellesmere branch collected more than £1,300.

Fundraising by Ismay’s Clothing, Courtyard Interiors and Ellesmere Newsagents also boosted the total.

Other donations came via local businesses, the Legion’s annual poppy concert, the regular Tuesday market tea stall, a coffee morning at Criftins parish hall and Remembrance Sunday collections at Ellesmere parish church and St John’s church Colemere.

Ellesmere branch chairman Bob McBride said: “The money raised locally will help to ensure that the Legion is able to continue taking care of our dedicated armed forces community when they need help financially or in accessing treatment and support for injuries or mental issues resulting from keeping our country safe and secure.

"So often the lives of our servicemen and women and their families are changed forever by their bravery and selflessness and it’s vital that we continue to what they do on our behalf.”