Poppies will be bursting into life across Eastbourne later this month, as the annual Poppy Appeal for the armed services swings into action.

Dozens of volunteers will be stationed around the town with the aim of keeping Eastbourne at the top of the donation rankings.

Last year, an incredible £118,000 was raised across Eastbourne and Willingdon. It was the largest amount ever raised by a single town in Sussex and was one of the biggest collections for a large town in England.

The Poppy Appeal runs from Thursday October 26 until Sunday November 12 and The Beacon shopping Centre will be hosting the main collection point outside Bruford’s.

Allan Leith, chairman of the Eastbourne branch of the Royal British Legion and an army veteran, organises the collection teams.

“I have a small team that has been supporting me for a couple of months in ordering the poppies and wreaths and organising volunteers for our collection points,” Allan explained.

“We are one of the top-performing branches in the south and the generosity of the people in and around Eastbourne is truly amazing. I am always on the look-out for more volunteers, so now is the time to get in touch,” he said.

The collection point in The Beacon will be open from 10am to 5pm every day from October 26. The volunteers are predicting a brisk start, and all the poppies, badges and wreaths will be on display.

“We will have 10,000 badges and more than 100,000 poppies to meet the demand,” Allan continued. “We will have a card reader for our cash-less society and lots of branded buckets to collect the spare change. There will be QR codes, allowing people to scan and go. We think we have covered most eventualities.”

The national target for this year’s collections across the UK is an incredible £50m. It is the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) biggest fundraising event, and all the money is distributed by the RBL welfare team to veterans in need of support.

Most shopping centres and larger supermarkets in Eastbourne will have collection points, making it more convenient than ever to support this great cause.

If you are interested in finding out about the role of a volunteer, contact Steven King 07746948888 or Eastbourne RBL Office on 417625.