Saving the Remembrance Parade, Service and Collection

For several years the Droitwich Branch of the Royal British Legion had been in decline. Many senior members had left, recruitment and numbers of volunteers was low and there had been some rumours of mismanagement.  As 2014 began it was clear to the Branch that the Annual Remembrance Parade, Service and Poppy Appeal were in jeopardy of being cancelled due to lack of experience and resources. Prompted by some friends, the New Management of the Legion approached Droitwich Rotary Club and asked if they would be willing to help and in doing so bring integrity back to the event. The Rotary Club accepted the challenge and formed a small Group including members of Rotary, the Legion, Town Council Officers and Volunteers. The Legion asked Rotary to Chair the Group. Work began by identifying the key issues that needed to be addressed. Individual members of the Group were delegated responsibility for the key tasks, including: the parade organisation, crowd marshalling, first aid provision, road closures, barriers, service arrangements, sound system, street collections, wreath sales, recruitment of volunteers, risk assessment, media coverage, VIP protocols etc. etc. As time went on meetings were held regularly to monitor progress and resolve any difficult issues. The enthusiasm and commitment from the team members quickly became infectious.

The result was that the Parade and Service went off without a hitch and the team received grateful thanks from members of the public both directly and via letters to the local newspapers. As a bonus the Street Collection of Poppies produced a record take of £20,607 almost 50% higher than the previous year.  Indeed such was the success that the Rotary Club was asked to lead the Remembrance Day arrangements for 2015. This again was a great success and incredibly the street collection was 10% higher than the record of 2014, totalling £22,809.