CRAVEN'S poppy appeal organiser Philip Chadwick has been recognised for his dedication to the annual fundraising event.

Mr Chadwick, who is also Skipton Royal British Legion branch secretary, received the Passion Award for his continued dedication to the poppy appeal at the recent annual conference of the North East Yorkshire County of the RBL.

In his citation recommending Mr Chadwick for the award, George Martin, chair of Skipton RBL,said despite not having any previous experience, Philip with his 'can do' attitude had stepped up to take on the role following the retirement of the previous organiser in 2021.

He became responsible for an area involving a round trip of 72 miles, taking in towns and villages from Cowling in the south to Stainforth in the north.

"Working from previous figures and spreadsheets from previous years, he was able to calculate the amount of stock required for the exceptionally large catchment area. The next challenge was to recruit volunteers to deliver poppy boxes, man the various stalls, and work with the community champions from the main supermarkets," said Mr Martin.

He also adapted to a cashless society, demonstrating how easy it was to use contactless machines. "As secretary to the Skipton branch, Philip was able to utilise the services of many of the branch members and also the local Air Training Corp, who are affiliated to the branch to help out during the weekends."

Mr Martin said if Mr Chadwick had not taken on the role, the national appeal which for 2022/23 raised £47, 701, 210 would have probably not have included the around £36,000 raised in the Craven area.

He ensured all collection boxes were delivered and stalls properly run, ensured sufficient stock was available, and encouraging volunteers to emphasise to the public that donations could be a lifeline for serving and ex-serving personnel and their families - something that often led to greater donations.

Mr Martin said although Mr Chadwick had never served in any of the armed forces, he fully understood the forces ethos of a ‘can do’ attitude. Since being poppy appeal organiser, he had adapted to changes in the ordering of poppy wreaths, which at the start had been met with some resistance, resulting in late orders and wreaths not arriving on time.

"In order that organisations were able to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday, Philip would try and source wreaths by contacting neighbouring counties. The consequences of his actions meant that he would then travel to collect then and then deliver them.

"Philip is an outstanding individual who gives his time freely and will always go the extra mile to help those less fortunate."

After receiving the award from Royal British Legion National Chairman Jason Coward, Mr Chadwick said: “I was somewhat surprised to receive this award for my work as secretary and for my role in the poppy appeal in recent years. I was pleased my work regarding the poppy appeal has been recognised. The success of the appeal though is down to the number of people who are willing to give up their time to support the appeal.”