A COMBINED effort from volunteers, staff, patients and visitors ensures Dorchester’s Dorset County Hospital makes a healthy contribution to the Poppy Appeal year on year.

Chairman of the Friends of Dorset County Hospital Roy Fry co-ordinates the collection and was recognised by the Royal British Legion for his long-standing support of the campaign.

He received a certificate for 15 years of service to the Poppy Appeal when it was launched in the town.

Roy said the appeal was always well supported at the hospital and usually raised between £700 and £800. He said last year the figure went up to £850 and this time round he was setting his sights on £1,000.

Roy said the staff were very supportive of his efforts and he was particularly grateful to chief executive Jean O’Callaghan, who wrote a piece in the hospital newsletter encouraging people to contribute.

Roy said he oversees the distribution of collection boxes around the hospital wards and also offer them from the Friends’ shop, on a trolley they take round and at the hospital restaurant.

He said visitors and patients at the hospital also help boost the fundraising total.

Dorchester Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Graham Rhys-Jones thanked the support of Roy and the other long serving collectors at the launch event and the contribution they made to the Royal British Legion’s ongoing work.

He said as well as supporting veterans and their families, the Legion also supports servicemen injured in Afghanistan and other ongoing conflicts as well as supporting widows and offering business loans, benefits advice and training for civilian life to those leaving the armed forces.