Who would have thought that in the present economic climate a newly established local charity would raise in excess of 100,000 euro in just five short years. But through the efforts of their members that is exactly what the Orihuela Costa Branch of the Royal British Legion has achieved since they were first established in January 2008.
The branch was formed when a small number of members moved across from an existing section being supplemented by recruits from newly approved areas. Almost sixty members and potential members attended that inaugural meeting in the Olympia Restaurant, Mil Palmeras, at which the very first Branch Committee was elected.
Since then, under the recent chairmanship of Keith Carter, who is also the Poppy Appeal coordinator, that number has grown to over 150.
As the membership has more than doubled in it’s five years so has the annual amount raised by the branch, from just over 13,000 euro in it’s first year, 2008, to almost 29,000 euro in 2012.
And the money has been raised through a variety of functions and events, not just appeals in local restaurants and bars but from the popular RBL golf days, sponsored fitness programmes, the distribution of poppies at markets, shopping centres, offices, major stores and airports as well as at a multitude of variety shows, dinners and local dances.
Of course charity legislation now requires that poppies are not sold but ‘distributed in return for donations’.
Those who do contribute should be aware that the major aspect of donating in Spain is that all of the money collected actually remains here to help ex service personnel and their dependants. It is put to good use in supporting those who have fallen on hard times and here on the Orihuela Costa, in recent months, the extremely active Welfare Committee have spent over 13,000 euro on vital medical equipment, including hearing aids, wheelchairs, glasses, mobility scooters, apparatus and utility bills for the home and even weekly shopping provisions.
Each Branch in the RBL has a Welfare team which is in place to help. They are part of the Legion’s extensive Poppy Support services and as such, if you are serving, have served or are the dependant or carer of someone who has served in the UK’s Armed Forces, then you may be eligible for their assistance.
Orihuela Costa Chairman Keith Carter praised all those unsung volunteers who give so freely of their time to go out throughout the year in order that The Royal British Legion in Spain can help it’s beneficiaries having raised the magnificent sum of €100,548.57
Although branches raise funds all year round the launch of the 2013 Poppy Appeal will take place in Benidorm on 16th October when there will be a parade through the town with members of the Royal British Legion, Benidorm Council dignitaries and the British Consul in attendance.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/39029/