Great-grandmother recognised for 20 years of poppy selling

Mrs Heal receives her special plaque from  Poppy Appeal Interim Director Andy Taylor-Whyte <i>(Image: Rob Heal)</i>
Mrs Heal receives her special plaque from Poppy Appeal Interim Director Andy Taylor-Whyte (Image: Rob Heal)

A POPPY seller has been presented with a certified plaque for her 20 years of dedicated service.

Babs Heal of Broadmayne received the plaque from Poppy Appeal Interim Director Andy Taylor-Whyte and community fundraiser Tasha Randall at a special presentation at the Brewhouse and Kitchen at Brewery Square, Dorchester.

The great grandmother of one and grandmother of five, 71, started collecting for the Royal British Legion's annual Poppy Appeal in 2002, and has since been a most dedicated collector.

She said: "I started doing it after my father died because the British Legion supported my mother really well - they were really good to her."

Mrs Heal, who was born in Broadmayne, sells poppies in the villages of Broadmayne and West Knighton every year.

"It takes me about a week to do it," she said.

"Last year I raised about £1,100 selling poppies and they put a sign in the window of the shop at Broadmayne telling people.

"When I go round selling poppies some of the people are elderly and they really look forward to me going round.

"They save up a lot of coins and it's so lovely - I've really got to know them."

Despite undergoing a knee replacement operation a year ago and having trouble walking around, Mrs Heal has continued her poppy selling with the help of her cousin Yvonne Williamson.

And Mrs Heal has further family connections to the Poppy Appeal - her grandfather has his name carved on the cenotaph in Broadmayne for his military service and her mother-in-law used to sell poppies in Upwey, Weymouth.

She regularly attends the village's Remembrance service, wearing her poppy badges.

Mrs Heal and her husband Rob are now retired from running the Roman Hill Business Park in Broadmayne, which they oversaw for around 43 years.

She said she wishes to thank all the 'loyal donators' within Broadmayne and West Knighton who 'religiously contribute to this very worthy cause for all ex servicemen and women'.

"I'm going to keep selling poppies and keep on going round doing it for as long as I can. The elderly people I've known for years look forward to seeing me."

The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal is looking for more volunteers to help for this year's appeal.

Anyone who would be willing to spare a few hours to help raise funds for the Poppy Appeal, or would like to be one of our special Poppy Appeal Organisers across Dorset should contact Tasha Randall at