British Legion branch appeals for help to avoid closure

Honiton Royal British Legion branch chairman Paul Shaw, centre, with supporters

Honiton Royal British Legion branch chairman Paul Shaw, centre, with supporters - Credit: Honiton RBL

Honiton's Royal British Legion branch faces closure again.

As it marks the 100th anniversary of the Legion, Honiton’s contingent of members may be forced to disband after 100 years of loyal service if volunteers do not come forward to carry on its work.

Branch chairman Paul Shaw has issued an urgent appeal for help on behalf of the once-thriving branch and warned that approximately £16,000 a year in Poppy Appeal donations could be lost to the Armed Forces charity.

He went onto explain that there are 89 members (many of whom are very elderly), but those who hold key committee roles have dwindled to ‘unsustainable’ numbers with the remaining branch officers due to step down this year. It is hoped a last rallying call will save the branch and maintain Honiton’s long-standing connection with the military.

Paul said: “If we can save the branch, we can secure the future of the Poppy Appeal in the town. We have tried to recruit people and it’s proved impossible. People will do their bit for the Poppy Appeal, but do not want to do more.

"It is hoped that new blood can be found to keep the Standard flying and carry the Branch into the next 100 years.”
At the very least the Branch requires a new Chairman, Secretary and a new Treasurer, along with a couple of committee members. Membership initially is not important, just a common belief in helping members of the Armed Forces Family and the ability to give up about 10 hours a month running the Branch.

“It will be sad not to have a Remembrance Day parade led by the Royal British Legion in Honiton. The town is accustomed to seeing around 1,000 people turn out every year to pay their respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of our nation. 
Honiton was a garrison town and has a long tradition of supporting the forces and the welfare of service personnel.”

Members will be manning information stations across the town in June and July in a bid to attract volunteers. Come along a see us on 26th June 2021 at St. Paul’s Church or on Charter Day on 31st July 2021.

If this appeal is not successful – the Branch will start to wind down and close after Remembrance Day this year.

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Anyone who may be able to help or is interested in finding out more can contact Paul on 07737 496111 or email: Honiton.chairman@rbl.community

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