FUNDRAISING NEWS: Legion asks young volunteers to help with poppy appeal

The Royal British Legion is appealing for young volunteers in a bid to raise an extra £1.5 million for the annual poppy appeal and make up for a steady decline in the charity's base of loyal poppy sellers.

The number of collectors and organisers that the Legion can call on has fallen in recent years because many are either mature or senior citizens who increasingly find the job too physically demanding. This has affected the charity's ability to raise funds: the 2002 appeal raised £21.1 million, a decrease of £300,000 on the previous year.

The 'Poppy People' campaign, which will launch on Thursday near Trafalgar Square in London, aims to recruit 30,000 young volunteers. It is hoped that each collector will raise £50, generating an additional £1.5 million.

More than 20,000 posters will be put up across the country and postcards will be distributed where poppies are sold. Leaflets will also be put through doors of 'warm' and 'cold' donors.

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