The organiser of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in Ellesmere says local people have shown “incredible generosity” in their support for this year’s fundraising campaign.

More than £9,500 has been raised since the latest appeal was launched at the end of October – that’s already more than £1,000 up on the total for the whole of last year.

“We’ve had a wonderful response from Ellesmere and the surrounding area,” said Lynne Howard, who took over as Poppy Appeal Organiser last year. “People have once again shown incredible generosity and we want to thank everyone for their donations.

“It’s been a fantastic community effort. We had more than a dozen volunteers out on the streets making house-to- house collections in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday. Schools, pubs, shops, factories and other local businesses and organisations have also been heavily involved in raising money and Tesco kindly gave us a prominent space in the front of their store for people to make donations.”

The Legion’s annual Poppy concert, featuring local entertainers, brought in more than £500 and more money was raised by volunteers selling tea, coffee and mince pies in the Market Hall during the Ellesmere Winter Festival.

Legion branch president Bob McBride said: “We’re very grateful to everyone who has given us their support. Our fund-raising efforts continue right through the year and we’ve had a fantastic start to this year’s appeal. With more money to come in, we’re hoping that the final total will reach £10,000. This amazing response once again demonstrates how much the people of this area recognise and value the Legion’s work in supporting those who’ve served their country and who are now in need of help either for themselves or their dependents.

“Next year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War and the Legion’s work is just as vital now as it was when the Legion was founded in 1921, just three years after the Armistice.”