VOLUNTEERS are needed to help make this year's Bournemouth Poppy Appeal bigger and better than ever.

Led by Cllr Anne Rey, a team will be collecting from November 4-11 and Anne hopes last year's total of £35,444.43 can be beaten.

The appeal will be launched on Friday November 3 on the steps of Bournemouth town hall where the Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Lawrence Williams, will be the first to buy a poppy.

The Mayor's Scout and Guide will also be present, as will a number of volunteer sellers.

The following day will see he start of collections and two hours of entertainment from 1pm in The Square.

Zumba Gold, Miss Annie and the Dorset Troopers have all been confirmed for the event.

Collections will take place throughout the week at Asda St Paul's, schools, hotels, shops and businesses.

Anne said she is hoping as many people as possible will come forward to help with the collections.

"Anyone who is over 16 can volunteer and it doesn't have to be a huge commitment. Even if they can do an hour or two, I'd love to hear from them."

The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign held every year in November, the period of Remembrance.

Each year, an army of volunteers distribute paper poppies throughout the nation, collecting donations in return to help support the Legion's work for the Armed Forces community.

Members of the public wear the paper poppy on their chest as a symbol of Remembrance, to remember the fallen servicemen and women killed in conflict.

A number of Remembrance events, such as Remembrance Sunday, are held during the appeal.

Anyone who feels they could give up a little spare time to help should call 01202 538068 or 07973 814382 or email anne.rey@bournemouth.gov.uk