THE Poppy Appeal in Oxfordshire is on track to be a record breaker after fundraisers smashed their fundraising target thanks to your generosity.

So far, the Royal British Legion's appeal for this year has raised £607,000 throughout the county – soaring beyond the initial goal of £575,000.

And with months of fundraising left to go, the collection for the armed forces is set break its all-time record by the time it draws to a close at the end of September.

Community fundraiser Mark Garwood said he hoped this year's fundraising would top the total from last year, as he offered his sincere thanks to the community who gave so generously for the cause.

Dad-of-two Mr Garwood, of Carterton, said: “I hope to beat last year’s total. I think the way we’re going we’re doing very well at the moment so it will be great if people can dig deep and donate to the Legion.

“It all makes a huge difference and I think people are becoming more and more attuned to the services we offer, what we do, and what the British Legion is all about.”

While many people know the Poppy Appeal from when it enters full swing in October and November ahead of Remembrance Sunday, the fundraising initiative runs all year round, with each fundraising year beginning in October and finishing the following September.

Cash is collected in shops, businesses, and at various events throughout the year.

Last year’s appeal, which ran from 2015 to 2016, raised £611,493, with the previous year generating £610,103. With months to go, the Legion is on target to outreach previous years, thanks in no small part to the support of its loyal band of organisers who coordinate the collections across the county.

Mr Garwood said: “I have 92 volunteer organisers and they’re extremely important to the whole process. They’re the glue that holds the appeal in Oxfordshire together.

“I can do different events and things but without the organisers we couldn’t raise such fantastic totals.

“I’m very grateful and it’s so nice to see people out supporting the appeal. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the organisers, the collectors, and all those who donate.”

Money raised through the Poppy Appeal and the many events run by the Legion funds the RBL’s work supporting anyone currently serving in the armed forces, or anyone who has previously served, along with their families.

Community fundraiser manager Jenny Sheriff said: "To raise over £600,000 three years in a row is astonishing and a wonderful achievement for the region.

"We would like to say a big thank you to all involved and to those who donated their time to collect across the local area, as well as individuals who gave money towards the Legion’s crucial work with the Armed Forces Community.”

Support available to current and former servicemen and women includes a variety of advice services providing guidance on debt, careers and inquests. Support also takes the form of family holidays and adventure breaks for children.

The Legion has six care homes catering for veterans and their partners and also helps adapt the homes of elderly veterans to make their lives easier.

Nearly a century old, the RBL was formed in 1921 by veterans of the First World War, with the purpose of helping those who had fought, and their families.

For more information on the charity and the support it offers service people and veterans visit

Mr Garwood is currently seeking new Poppy Appeal organisers for appeals in Burford, Bletchingdon, Combe and Thame. These are voluntary positions. Full training will be given. For further information call 07500 225215.