Town raises record-breaking £45,000 for the Poppy Appeal

Crawley people donated more money than ever to this year’s Poppy Appeal.

In excess of £45,000 was raised for the Royal British Legion’s Crawley & Ifield branch.

The cash will go towards helping injured and veteran ex-servicemen and women.

Brian Quinn, the branch’s chairman, said: “The amount we collected is amazing. It shows the loyalty of Crawley people.

“All of this collection will assist our wounded soldiers returning from action and retired veterans who need care and support.”

He added: “It is impossible to thank all the wonderful volunteers who gave so many hours of their precious time to stand in the street and shopping parades.”

Mr Quinn said he had worried this year’s appeal might fall short of earlier expectations because of competing fundraising efforts.

The Philippines relief effort took place at around the same time as the Poppy Appeal.

Crawley residents have also given to the Syrian and Children in Need appeals throughout 2013.

Mr Quinn said: “I’m sure the people of Crawley raised a huge amount of money for those causes as well.”

The branch normally raises between £39,000 and £42,000 for its annual collection.

Michael Elliot, a committee member of the legion’s branch, has organised the town’s appeal for several years.

He said: “It’s absolutely a new benchmark for how much we raise.

“The more money we can get in the more we can help the ex-service community.”

He co-ordinated the distribution of 480 collection tins in and around Crawley and helped count the money raised.

Richard Bull, a committee member of the branch, collected £2,958 outside Marks & Spencer in Queensway throughout the two-week appeal.

Another branch member, Tony Brand, collected £2,465 inside the town’s ASDA store, the highest amount ever raised at the supermarket since it opened in 2003.