Donations from the people of Budleigh Salterton to the annual Poppy Appeal are on course to reach an all time high.

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While a record 36 wreaths are set to be laid on the War Memorial next autumn, trebling the number in eight years.

And with younger people signing on to volunteer as collectors, they are all signs that support for the armed forces is stronger than ever in the town.

Chairman of the Poppy Appeal Glenn Sismore-Hunt said that with almost nine months left to go before the end of this year’s appeal £7,500 has been collected through street and house collections and personal donations.

The total, which does not include contributions from the Budleigh Salterton branch of the Royal British Legion, is equivalent to the entire amount raised during the previous year’s appeal.

Mr Sismore-Hunt said: “I’m hopeful that we can do even better, and all the signs point towards that.

“People in Budleigh have always been very generous

“We have raised £7,500, and considering that there are not much more than 5,000 people in the town, that is astonishing.

“I think that says it all.”

He added: “I would like to thank all the people who helped with the appeal, the collectors, and the people working behind the scenes and the businesses who supported us.

“And thank you to Mark and Vanessa McGlade for letting us use Home Instead to drop off the collecting tins.

“This was a great help being situated in the centre of the town.”

He said that sadly three collectors had died since the last appeal, and they needed people to volunteer.

“Not many give up voluntarily; most volunteers stop because they physically can’t do it any more.

“Many are in their 80s and 90s and they spend every year standing on street corners.”

He thanked the army cadets and added: “There are more people coming through in their late 20s and early 30s.

“But it’s a long old job going from house to house and we need all the help we can get.”

Chairman of Budleigh Salterton RBL Lieutenant Colonel David Marino said: “It is encouraging that more young people are helping.

“Budleigh Salterton has always supported our armed forces but I think it is a sign that they are very much on people’s minds.

“They see it on the TV and only this week a young solder was killed.

”People are more aware than ever that the poppy appeal is not just about the two world wars any more.”

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