Photo: Ian Fuller
Photo: Ian Fuller

By John Moloney

The Royal British Legion was formed in 1921 after World War I. The purpose of the Legion at that time was to help servicemen returning from the Great War to settle back into normal life again, and assist in any way it could, jobs and homes being the main concern at the time.

The Legion has developed over the last 90 years and these days we spend £1.7m per week on welfare cases for our Armed Forces and their dependents, this includes all who have served for seven days or more.

To obtain that £1.7m (potentially more as, due to today’s climate this figure is ever rising) we need to raise as much funds as possible. In order to achieve this we use volunteers and this is where UWE students came to the forefront. They volunteered their

time to man our Poppy selling stands in the local shops and Parkway Station during the Poppy appeal fortnight in November.

UWE’s wonderful students gave up 3 hours of their time to help out on several occasions alongside other volunteers over that 2 week period. We manned the stands around our patch which includes UWE, Filton , Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Bradley Stoke and is quite a large area for such a small Branch in the RBL .

We are only 51 members strong and most of those are of retirement age, so UWE’s students brought home to a lot of the public that the youth of today do care and want to help, and the public repaid that time and effort by donating the sum today in our patch to £32k .

Our Branch has 5 welfare workers all volunteers working throughout the year visiting people who have come to our attention through one way or another, if you or any student or instructor reading this article knows of an ex serviceman or woman who is need of help please let us know by ringing Terry Webber our Welfare Coordinator on 07905905388.

If anyone would like to help with collecting (we are always looking for help) they can contact me John Moloney on 07802 535591.

The type of help we give covers a large area but includes White goods, Brown goods, gardening, decorating and Poppy breaks (a small holiday for them and partner/ carer).