THE new organiser of a town’s Poppy Appeal says she is honoured to have been asked to take on the role.

Clare Metcalfe, of Ferryhill Station, has taken the reigns for Ferryhill’s Poppy Appeal for the Royal British Legion and has already started planning fundraising events.

Ms Metcalfe, who runs a family decorating business in Ferryhill town centre, Ferry Dec, is already a member of the Ferryhill 2000 Committee, which also fundraises for the Poppy Appeal each year.

Last year the committee raised £2,100 for the Royal British Legion.

Ms Metcalfe said: “When I was asked to take over the Poppy Appeal I was honoured, actually.

“I have never done anything like this before but I believe it’s important to remember the people who fought and served, those who lost their lives doing so and those who continue to do so.”

Ms Metcalfe’s grandparents served during the First World War and one of her grandfathers was held prisoner.

She said: “He actually served on the front line, although he didn’t tell us that, he just told us he was a prisoner of war.”

The first job for Ms Metcalfe as the new Poppy Appeal organiser was to count all 2,000 of the existing poppies, before packing them into boxes, ready to be distributed around Ferryhill.

She is then responsible for collecting the boxes back in, counting donations and banking them.

The Royal British Legion member, who is also a member of Ferryhill Remembers, was invited to London last year to lay a wreathe on Remembrance Sunday, 100 years since the Armistice was signed ending the First World War.

The next fundraising event on Ms Metcalfe’s calendar will be on Armed Forces Day, on June 29, where she will hold a stall in Ferryhill.

She is also appealing for knitted poppies.

She added: “I would love to have a net made of knitted poppies, if we could do it in time for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, next year, that would be my ultimate goal.

“Either knitted or crocheted poppies, we have a pattern in the shop if anybody would like one.”

Knitted poppies can be dropped into Ferry Dec.

For information regarding poppy collection boxes email or drop into Ferry Dec in Ferryhill Town Centre.