A PLEA has gone out to help keep the Poppy Appeal going in Dorchester.

Every year residents in the county town help raise thousands of pounds for the Royal British Legion and its work to support ex-servicemen and women and their families.

But Dorchester’s gallant efforts are under threat after the retirement of the long-serving county town appeal organiser Graham Rhys-Jones and new volunteers are needed to take up the reins.

Royal British Legion community fundraiser for Dorset Ian Jarvis said that Dorchester contributes around £25,000 to the Poppy Appeal every year.

And to keep those vital funds coming in he wants to hear from people who are willing to help organise the appeal.

He said: “Dorchester is actually quite a massive area and it’s been covered by one gentleman before who has done a fantastic job over a fair few years.

“It brings in around £25,000, which is rather substantial for the whole county.”

Mr Jarvis said he never normally has problems when it comes to recruiting volunteers for the appeal, but it is a harder task to get organisers to co-ordinate areas.

He said that he plans to break the town into different areas to minimise the workload on organisers, so the more people he gets coming forward the smaller the sections they have to cover.

Mr Jarvis said: “If anybody can help either as a volunteer, but preferably as organisers, it would be great – even if it’s just a small part of Dorchester.

“I’m more than willing to meet with them and explain what it entails and try and sign them up as organisers.”

Mr Jarvis said he would also love to be able to set up a base in an empty shop or premises in the town around the time of the Poppy Appeal to help with storage and make co-ordinating the appeal easier.

He is keen to hear from any businesses or organisations that might know of any vacant premises they were willing to offer.

Mr Jarvis went on to pay tribute to the contribution of outgoing organiser Graham Rhys-Jones, who has also offered to help guide new organisers through what the job entails.

He said: “Graham did a fantastic job for Dorchester.”

Anyone interested in supporting the Dorchester Poppy Appeal can contact Mr Jarvis on 07827 355042 or email ijarvis@ britishlegion.org.uk