Ayr Poppy Appeal organiser bows out after 6 years

Area Organiser Geoff Barber has retired from the role after six years of tireless dedication to the Poppy Appeal and is succeeded by Rotarian Paul Williams who has been heavily involved in the appeal as a volunteer throughout the past five years and so is no stranger to the work. Geoff will still continue to help with collections.

Jan & Geoff Barber

Jan & Geoff Barber

The Rotary club of Ayr was approached by Poppy Scotland in 2010 because the Poppy Appeal in Ayr was in difficulty, the Area Organiser was leaving and the number of volunteers had fallen. Over the years the Rotary Club, led by Rotarian Geoff and helped by his wife Jan, have been successful in involving more and more local community organisations in the appeal. When Ayr Rotary took over the organisation of the appeal in 2010, they made immediate improvements on the total collected in earlier years. Never before had over £20,000 been raised by the Appeal in Ayr. However over the succeeding years, the annual donations have been remarkable. Those involved in 2015 were: the Army Cadet Force, Ayr Inner Wheel Club, The Lions Club of Ayr and Prestwick, the Sea Cadets, the Air Cadets, the Boys Brigade, St Columba Scouts and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There were also some individual volunteers. With Poppy cans distributed to most Ayr businesses, schools, colleges, churches and hospitals, collections at the supermarkets for two weeks and street collections on the two weekends before Remembrance Sunday, it is hard for anybody to avoid making a donation. These total are a reflection of the generosity of the good folk of Ayr who annually continue to support this worthy cause. Sadly, in 2016, the Royal British Legion Ayr Branch were unable to continue with their very long-standing street collections.

2009 £19,960

2010 £27,403

2011 £34,782

2012 £33,664

2013 £32,718

2014 £38,224

2015 £34,453

6-year total £201,224

2014 stands out as a special year as it coincided with the 100 year anniversary celebrations of the Great War.

Paul is very keen to involve more community groups in this important charity work and all who might wish to become involved should make contact through the Rotary Club of Ayr website – www.rotaryclubofayr.org. Please contact him on paulgwilliams39@gmail.com