A TEAM of women have managed to raise a staggering £25,000 in just one month after staging a series of fundraising events in aid of The Royal British Legion.

The Poppy Appeal Ladies (PALs), based in Northallerton, spent the last four weeks in their campaign to raise vital funds for the Armed Forces support charity.

Throughout November, Brenda Turner, Brenda Sharp, Sylvia Roberts, Jenny Gale, Jan Brown, Carol Taylor, Jean Stinson, Jane Desbosois and Katie Crellen, managed to raise a total of £25,000 for The Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal through bucket collections in supermarkets and on Northallerton high street.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Sylvia Roberts, Jenny Gale and Jan Brown with Tesco Northallerton's management team Picture: JIM SCOTT

PALs volunteer Jenny Gale said: "We're just a small group, but we work very hard and very closely together to try and make a difference.

“It all came about when the ladies’ section of the British Legion closed down and there was a small group of us who didn’t want to just ignore the British Legion, so we set our own group up, doing coffee mornings, and events to raise money for our Armed Forces."

The group, which holds coffee mornings up to three times a year, raising around £400 each time, said November's efforts were a "huge success".

On Tuesday, Ms Roberts, Ms Gale and Ms Brown handed the customers and staff of Tesco in Northallerton a 'Certificate of Appreciation', after much of the £25,000 was raised during ten busy days of bucket collecting in the store.

Armed Forces veteran, Michael Castle, who assists in the organisation of PALs' fundraising across the town, said the staggering amount of money showed the group was becoming increasingly known.

He said: "The main reason we've done so well this year is public awareness, people know what we do, what we stand for and what we are trying to promote within the town.

“Last year it was the 75th anniversary of D-Day and as a consequence, that made people much more aware of what we do so it’s just a carry on from last year.

"It's also the fact that the girls are all enthusiastic about what they want to do, raising as much money as possible.

"It is all down to these girls and their enthusiasm, that they’ve raised such a colossal amount.

“The girls have raised funds with their coffee mornings in the town hall, they’ve had other major retailers in the town donating and having us there.

"All in all there’s been a generous contribution from the whole town of Northallerton and the surrounding schools."

At Tesco in Northallerton, store manager Gemma Manders was handed the 'Certificate of Appreciation' as PALs confirmed £25,000 had now been banked.

She said: "The customers have been really supportive of the PALs and because they’ve been coming here for so many years, they’ve already built that connection with them.

"We're in such a fabulous community and all of the customers are so generous, it’s fabulous to see them raise this and much more than last year."

PALs said they were planning to hold their next coffee morning in May.

  • For more information on PALs and its fundraising events contact 01609-600876.