Members vote to continue Wymondham Royal British Legion branch

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
8:00 AM

A south Norfolk British Legion branch which faced closure has been thrown a lifeline after members voted to continue the group.

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The Wymondham branch of the Royal British Legion faced closure after membership numbers dwindled.

But at a meeting last night, members voted against the closure and pledged to continue the branch.

Branch secretary Ann Rogerson said: “There needs to be some new blood coming forward.

“We used to hold dinners and dances.”

Mrs Rogerson said that when she first joined the legion 20 years ago, the branch had more than 1,000 members but numbers had fallen to as low as 56 recently.

The Wymondham branch, which holds meetings every other month, was founded in 1921.

People of any age can join, even if they do not have a military background.

Michael Hayes, who stood down as branch chairman last night, thanked the committee members for their hard work and continued support.

“A lot of members have done so much to help the branch and to keep it going. It needs more help at committee level.”

John Morter was appointed the new chairman.

The Legion has 2,500 branches around the UK and overseas. Branches provide support for people in their local communities and a meeting place to get together.

The branch is now launching an appeal for new members to help carry out welfare work and help with fundraising activities.

Stewart Blackburn, vice chairman of Norfolk British Legion, said that the branch’s reputation was “second to none” and praised its loyal following.

“The biggest myth is that you have to have served in the forces and it’s simply not true,” Mr Blackburn said. “Being a member is not about meetings - it’s about providing welfare support to those in need.”

The branch is also responsible for the annual Poppy Appeal in the area.

The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading services charity, providing care, advice and support for serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

To get involved with the Wymondham branch or to become a member, call 01953 602817 or email ann.rogerson@btinternet.com

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