RBL branch under threat in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 10:01 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:09 27 February 2017


Honiton’s Royal British Legion (RBL) faces closure after more than nine decades of service if volunteers do not come forward to carry on its work.

Chairman Christopher Sinden has issued an urgent appeal for help on behalf of the once-thriving branch and warned that approximately £15,000 a year in Poppy Appeal donations could be lost to the forces charity.

He explained there are 105 members, but those who hold key committee roles have dwindled to ‘unsustainable’ numbers and it is hoped a last rallying call will save the branch and maintain Honiton’s long-standing connection with the military.

Mr Sinden said: “If we can save the branch, we can secure the future of the Poppy Appeal in the town. Since the club HQ closed about six years ago, 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.

“We have a committee of about seven people and two of the major players are leaving for various reasons so that leaves us with no treasurer.

“We also need a secretary and a chairman.

“It is really important to keep this branch going because of its links with the community, especially in November with the Remembrance events.

“Honiton was a garrison town and has a long tradition of supporting the forces and the welfare of service personnel.”

He added that what is happening in Honiton is reflected across the country where RBL branches are suffering from a lack of new members, but Mr Sinden hopes the town will act to prevent the branch from folding after 92 years of service.

Members will be manning information stations across the town from early next month in a bid to attract volunteers.

They have until the end of May and - if the appeal is not successful – will start to wind the branch up in September this year.

Anyone who may be able to help or is interested in finding out more can contact Mr Sinden on 01404 44474 or email: Christophersinden@btinternet.com or branch treasurer Dave Lewis on 07707 997621 or email: cuckoocharlie@portinastorm.eclipse.co.uk

Alternatively, visit one of the RBL stations available on:
Saturday, March 4, 9.30am to 2pm, at High Street, outside St Paul’s Church.
Saturday, March 25, 8.30am to 5pm, at Tesco, Honiton.
Saturday, April 1, 9.30am to 2pm, at High Street, outside St Paul’s Church.
Saturday, May 13, 9.30am to 2pm, at High Street, outside St Paul’s Church.

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