A TOWN’S new poppy man hopes to raise even more money for a forces charity than in previous years.

Michael Wilkinson, from Bishop Trains, has been appointed by the Royal British Legion as the new poppy appeal organiser for the Bishop Auckland area.

Mr Wilkinson will be responsible for organising the annual poppy appeal in Bishop Auckland, West Auckland, St Helen Auckland, South Church, Evenwood and Ramshaw.

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He takes over from Peter Franklin.

Mr Wilkinson said he feels honoured to be given the voluntary position.

He said: “I am looking forward to ensuring that poppies are distributed across Bishop Auckland.

“The people of Bishop Auckland have always been extremely generous, last year the town raised £13,335.91 and I hope to help that grow in the next few years.

“The Poppy Appeal gives me the opportunity to give a little something back to our Armed Forces past and present and their families.”

Rachel Hardwick, community fundraiser for the charity, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Legion, without them we wouldn’t be able to support so many serving personnel, veterans and their families with practical help and advice.

“If you would like to help Michael in supporting this year’s Bishop Auckland appeal, we’d love to hear from you.”

Anyone interested can visit his Facebook page facebook.com/bishoppoppyappeal, email him at michael@bishoptrains.co.uk or call 07979-460646.