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Dedicated volunteer Eileen is top of the poppies
A DEDICATED volunteer has been recognised for 70 years of making the Poppy Appeal blossom.
Eileen Hobday, from Martinstown, was one of two women and four men to be honoured in a ceremony at Dorchester’s Keep Museum.
The celebration tied in with the launch of this year’s Poppy Appeal and collectors are hoping residents give now more than ever.
Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Valerie Pitt-Rivers, presented the volunteers with their badges and put the first coins in the collection tin.
In Dorchester and the surrounding areas, there are around 100 house-to-house collectors and around 60 street collectors.
Mrs Hodbay is a veteran of the Fleet Air Arm and has been involved in the Poppy Appeal since she was 16 years-old and used to take part with her mother.
She praised her ‘dedicated’ team of volunteers and thanked Dorchester Poppy Appeal organiser Graham Rhys-Jones for all his hard work.
She said: “I have a very loyal team of half a dozen or so collectors and back-ups.
“People are very kind.”
But there’s no chance of stopping now, as Mrs Hobday had a car full of poppies to get back to.
Other collectors praised were George Osborne and Roy Martindale, who have completed 10 years, Keith Hicks and Wally Gundry, who have completed 20 years, and Jill Johns, who has completed 25 years.
They were all praised by Royal British Legion Dorchester branch chairman Les Cuff, who said: “We are all going to need a little bit of help from the legion one day, in one way or another. I would like to thank all you good people who collect on our behalf.”
Presenting the awards, Mrs Pitt-Rivers said lots of the work of the Royal British Legion for veterans and servicemen would ‘not be possible’ without the collectors.
She added: “Volunteers are the backbone of our society and without them, without the many people like you, many things would not happen at all.”
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