We're a town that cares!

PUBLISHED: 15:08 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:21 10 June 2010

A RECORD £24,000 has been donated to Exmouth Poppy Appeal this year – and the total could rise even further. It is the latest example of the town s caring side.

A RECORD £24,000 has been donated to Exmouth Poppy Appeal this year - and the total could rise even further.

It is the latest example of the town's caring side.

Only recently, an incredible 150 wreaths were laid at the Remembrance Sunday commemorations, which saw 10 per cent of the town's population attend the open-air service.

Poppy Appeal organiser Tom Harvey-May said that, 10 years ago, when he took on the job, £5,000 was raised.

"Last year, we collected £22,500 and we were very pleased," he said. "I really didn't think we could top that.

"We knew we were doing well this year, but it didn't really hit me until Monday when we opened one tin and there was over £1,000 inside.

"We could even raise £25,000 this year, which would be fantastic."

He said, despite hardship for many families because of the economic downturn and worries about Christmas, residents still gave generously. "What's happening in Afghanistan is obviously affecting people, but in Exmouth it's more than that.

"There seems to be a special loyalty to the armed forces [Exmouth has adopted the Devon and Dorset's] that runs deep, especially so because of the Royal Marines.

"Deep down, people feel a real closeness to the forces.

"Many former Royal Marines work here, have homes here and have their children at an Exmouth school - they are very involved in community life."

He said at least 90 per cent of the wreaths were donated by local businesses, groups and the public. "Wasn't the parade phenomenal?" he said, referring to the open-air service, attended by 3,500 people.

"The singing by the community college students of Let There Be Peace On Earth was just fantastic - they said they would like to do it again."

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