College Volunteers Support Poppy Appeal

This year’s vTalent year volunteers at East Durham College are raising awareness and supporting The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal by encouraging every student and staff member at the College to make a donation and wear a poppy.

The 15 young volunteers aged between 16 to 25 help support students at both the Peterlee and Houghall campuses. The vtalent year programme is funded by V, the National Young Volunteers Service, which is dedicated to helping young people volunteer in ways that matter to them.

The Appeal was launched with the students selling their first poppy to College Principal, Stuart Wesselby.

The volunteers will be selling poppies throughout both campuses in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday and are hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for this very worthy cause.

Roslyn Hastie-Murray, an officer with The Royal British Legion and member of staff at the College, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of The Royal British Legion and Poppy Appeal and we couldn't achieve all that we do without them, so we are delighted to have the young volunteers at East Durham College on board.

“This year's Poppy Appeal is focused on young veterans of current and recent conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, the Royal British Legion's ongoing theme of 'serving those who serve', emphasises the increasing need to help the men and women who are serving today, as well as ex-service people and their dependants.”

The Peterlee British Legion branch has supplied the team with poppies and collection tins. After the campaign the County Poppy Appeal Coordinator will then let the team know how much the College has managed to raise.

Gary Harding, a vtalent year volunteer, went on to explain why he joined the programme: “I was in full time employment but felt it was going nowhere, so I applied to the programme at the College as I wanted to do something positive with my life, feel good about myself and help other young people.

“It was difficult giving up my job, but I wanted to develop in a field where I could gain new valuable experiences. Having gone from school to university I felt I still lacked real life work experience. In today’s competitive job market I feel that volunteering reflects my commitment to my future.”

Find out more on how you can give time or make a donation to the The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal at www.britishlegion.org.uk