Brandon Royal British legion club calls on members to step up for its survival
A Suffolk Royal British Legion (RBL) club has issued a call to arms for members to ensure that it does not have to close its doors.
Brandon’s club chairman, Neil Tattersall, has given this warning in his forewords for its forthcoming AGM meeting in July as it needs to fill committee positions to continue.
Due to retirements and resignations the roles of chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary are vacant and he hopes they will not stay that way.
Neil said: “Because of others leaving and Covid we have not been able to recruit anybody into these post.
“As we are a committee-led organisation, if we do not get anybody stepping up on July 5, then I have no option but to close the club, which would be devastating.”
The charity, famous for its poppy appeal, celebrated its centenary on May 15 this year, and Neil, who himself has more than 30 years in the military, does not want it to close its doors in the 100th year.
He said: “We are well supported, with around 85 members, that is why I put my forewords out on the agenda for the AGM.
“To say ‘look if you want this club to continue you need to step up and support it’, that has been sent out to all members now so we will just have to wait and see.”
The club chairman has already spoken to the county’s RBL about the situation.
Suffolk chairman, Ken Rowbottom, said due to the pandemic other clubs and branches were also experiencing difficulties.
He said: “Most town branches have managed to weather the storm but is has required a lot of hard work from their committees.
“Those that have difficulties due to a number of things - a decline in membership, an ageing population, vulnerable people - have had and are having a problematic time.”
But Ken said the actions Neil has taken, by telling the members the issue they face and bringing it to the paper was the best way forward.
He said: “Those are good moves, it will help to circulate out to as many people as they can.
“If they see this piece and in the AGM agenda that sadly with Covid, lockdown and restrictions, the club is in a sticky patch then hopefully it will get people thinking that they can not let the club go and they will step forward.”
That hope is also held by Neil.
When asked about what the club meant to him, he said: It is something that I hold dear to my heart, and I just hope we can sort this out.”