Weymouth's knitted poppies make £2,000 for Royal British Legion

Dorset Echo: Julie Hursthouse and MP Richard Drax with ladies from the Let’s Make It community group. Far right, Dennis Wright, county chairman of Dorset Royal British Legion Julie Hursthouse and MP Richard Drax with ladies from the Let’s Make It community group. Far right, Dennis Wright, county chairman of Dorset Royal British Legion

KNITTED poppies made by a Weymouth community group have raised almost £2,000 for the Royal British Legion.

The Let’s Make It community group picked up their knitting needles to make the flowers for the annual appeal back in August and 30 volunteers took part.

More than 2,000 poppies have been knitted by the group this year, including 800 poppies made by one volunteer alone.

Project manager Julie Hursthouse said: “Last year we managed to raise £1,000 by knitting poppies, so we’re over the moon that we have almost doubled that amount this year.

“It takes two and a half hours to knit a poppy and there were 2,000 made this year, so a huge amount of effort has gone into them.

“I’m so grateful to all the volunteers.”

A cheque of £1,840 was presented to South Dorset MP Richard Drax and Dennis Wright, county chairman for the Dorset Royal British Legion.

Mr Wright said: “The work done and money raised by the group is absolutely brilliant and what a lovely idea.

“Whether the amount raised is £1 or £1,000, initiatives like this make all the difference.”

The poppies were on sale during November from various stores in and around Weymouth and Portland for a suggested donation of £1, with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

Weymouth Pavilion was one stockist of the poppies this year, and operator Phil Say said they flew off the counter because they were so popular.

Richard Drax added: “The money raised by the group is an example of community selflessness, generosity and spirit here in Weymouth and Portland.”

Julie added that next year is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which has inspired the group to knit poppies with gold thread in the centre of the flower.

She said if anyone has any gold thread or wool to spare it would be incredibly useful.

Joy Stanley, treasurer of Let’s Make It, said: “The group is for everyone and anyone who enjoys knitting can join, it also gives the elderly at home something to do, which goes towards a good cause.”

To get involved in the project next year or for more information, contact community development worker Julie Hursthouse on 01305 838497.

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