Threat to British Legion clubs

FEARS have been raised over the future of Royal British Legion clubs in Suffolk because not enough young members are coming forward to help manage them.

FEARS have been raised over the future of Royal British Legion clubs in Suffolk because not enough young members are coming forward to help manage them.

It follows the recent closure of the Orford branch, near Woodbridge, because no volunteers could be found to assist in its running.

Adrienne Wakeling, county manager for Suffolk Royal British Legion, said the lack of young members signing up to the organisation was a concern.

She said: “Sadly Orford is not an isolated case. The branch had something like 60 members, so it wasn't particularly small.

“It could have been quite viable. It still is - but we need younger members to step forward. It is a concern of the legion and we are looking at ways of encouraging new membership.”

Last Sunday a rally was held at Orford, with a parade led by the Royal British Legion Leiston Band and a service at St Michael's Church.

Most Read

Bill Lennox has run the branch with the help of his wife for a number of years but has now decided to step down.

Mr Lennox said: “There's been no influx of young servicemen. It's a real shame. We have tried our hardest to keep it going.

“The legion is still very strong but not as strong as it was when it formed in 1924. We've done extraordinarily well in the past. Last poppy appeal we raised over �3,000 and the remembrance services at the church are always packed - so the support from the community is there.

“But there was no one to take up the running of the branch. I hate to be defeatist but we haven't been left with much choice.”

Mr Lennox said he hoped the poppy collections would continue in the area even though the branch has closed.

n. Are you concerned about the threat to the clubs? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or have your say at www.eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter