Legion branch reforms to help its community

Higham Ferrers Working Men's Club secretary Lloyd Carr and Poppy Appeal organiser Charlie Smart
Higham Ferrers Working Men's Club secretary Lloyd Carr and Poppy Appeal organiser Charlie Smart

A branch of the Royal British Legion which closed more than a decade ago has been reformed.

The Higham Ferrers branch closed 15 years ago but fundraising continued in the town thanks to Poppy Appeal organiser Charlie Smart and his wife Carolyn and standard bearer Ron Granfield.

The volunteers continued to hold an annual fundraising concert on Armistice Day, with support from Peter Grant, and interest in their activities has grown so much that the branch reformed.

Mr Smart said: “We want to put the branch back on the map. It’s been hard to keep things going over the past 15 years but recently we’ve had lots of interest in what we’re doing and we’re just beginning to get going again.

“We’re very proud that lots of young people are interested in what we do because they’ll have to carry it on in the future.

“There were lots of people from this area who were killed in the First and Second World Wars and in some cases their descendants are now serving in places like Afghanistan. People are coming back from wars maimed and injured and we have got to look after them.”

The branch is now keen to attract as many members as possible so it can boost its fundraising efforts.

Mr Smart said: “The more members we get the more we will be able to do.

“We would like to put on functions so we can raise money to help ex-service people who are struggling so they can buy the things they need.

“We find that some older people who served don’t think of asking for support when they are struggling – we want them to know the money we are raising is for them.”

The branch will hold a fundraising concert featuring The Icons who perform a tribute concert to Cher and Roy Orbison.

It will be held from 8pm on March 30 at Higham Ferrers Working Men’s Club and is open to members and guests.

Tickets cost £5 and are available on the door or from Mr Smart on 01933 353812.

Anyone who is interested in joining the branch, or ex-servicemen and women in Higham Ferrers and Chelveston who would like to find out about the support which is available to them, can call secretary Joe Granfield on 07940 745594 or Mr Smart.