A Moorlands branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) is aiming to honour the organisation’s century milestone, as well as re-immerse itself in the community next year, after a hard 2021. Many of the Cheadle RBL branch’s events had to be cancelled this year due to Covid restrictions, including the celebrations for its 100-year anniversary.
A Moorlands branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) is aiming to honour the organisation’s century milestone, as well as re-immerse itself in the community next year, after a hard 2021.
Many of the Cheadle RBL branch’s events had to be cancelled this year due to Covid restrictions, including the celebrations for its 100-year anniversary.
“A lot of our members are elderly and some have been unwell and haven’t been able to come out so it’s been a difficult year, really,” Pamela Ann Piers-Leake, Cheadle RBL secretary, told the Times & Echo.
“Some of the things we would have done, like (take part in) Party in the Park, didn’t happen this year. We normally would have had a lunch in the spring but we couldn’t do that, so we haven’t been able to do much at all.”
However, the branch’s traditional annual poppy appeal in November did still manage to go ahead and raised a fantastic £12,647.
“The poppy collection was absolutely brilliant, a really good turn out,” Pamela said.
“It is just great meeting people. Morrison’s (located on Well Street in Cheadle) are so great letting us use a table inside which gives us much more opportunity to chat to the children and people.
“It’s quite a nice time, to chat to children about Remembrance Day and what it means.”
She added: “All the shops in the high street participated, the majority of them have a collection box and all do well, but some shops noticed a drop because no-one is using (physical) money to pop a few coppers in.
“In Morrison’s we actually had a card machine but all-in-all I’m really pleased with it.”
Many volunteers from schools, including The Cheadle Academy, community groups and individuals helped in this year’s appeal.
Over three weeks across October and November, Pamela also visited scouts, beavers and cubs to hold sessions to explain what Remembrance Day was and why it is important to commemorate it.
She also provided interesting information about the Fallen Soldier, explaining to older children how it came to be and who it represents.
Pamela explained how several members of Cheadle RBL have moved away for various reasons during the course of the year and how the branch is looking for younger members to get involved with the hope of engaging in public events, such as the Cheadle Carnival and Party in the Park, once again.
She said: “It would be nice if we could get some younger members around and hopefully, as we go into next year, we can be a bit more normal again and take part in some of the activities in the town.
“We need some younger members as it’s very difficult for the older ones to come out and stand for long periods.”
Pamela continued: “It was lovely to see the Christmas lights switch on the other month, it was great to see the town doing things again and hopefully, if we’re back to that scenario, then we can take part in some of the town events.
“I’m hoping post-February that we can have a lunch all together because we have got a few members who are now on their own, so it’s nice to also involve them, get them out and get a bit more company.”
Pamela hopes that there will be a nod to the 100-year anniversary of the Royal British Legion as an entity in 2022, even if it is a year late.
She added: “We should have had some big celebrations for that this year but of course instructions from head office were not to do anything in branch because of what was happening.
“I think if we can get out next year and have some lunch, we can at least raise a glass because there’s no reason why we can’t say this is to being 101 – I think people are very understanding about that.”
Anyone interested in joining Cheadle RBL, can contact Pamela on 07970 724271.
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