THE Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal will be helped by a special bus.

Stagecoach has provided the poppy bus to assist in the charity's fundraising efforts.

This year marks the Royal British Legion's 100th anniversary.

Alan Whitmore, community fundraiser for the Royal British Legion in Cumbria and the Isle of Man, said: "It’s an absolute honour and we’re so grateful to Stagecoach for having such an amazing coach like this.

"For us, every poppy counts, every penny counts as we seek to raise vital funds for those veterans, service families and their children which need our support.

"One in nine people are eligible for our assistance, so this cause is more important than ever before.

"Having been through the pandemic we’re delighted to let people know that our volunteers are back, we’re raising money again."

The Royal British Legion aims to raise £1million in Cumbria this year and £50million nationwide.

Rob Jones, managing director for Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, hopes that the poppy bus can help the charity reach its target.

He said: "We think it’s a very worthwhile cause and we’ve recently set up a veterans’ network within Stagecoach so that we can allow people to contact each other and keep in touch.

"It helps our ex-armed forces and we think that it’s a really good cause that we should be involved in.

"I’m delighted to yet again unveil a poppy bus for this year.

"The poppy bus will predominantly be based in West Cumbria but it will move around West Cumbria from Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport and up to Carlisle.

"It’ll be seen by thousands of people."

A couple of months ago the Royal British Legion was struggling to find enough volunteers to organise its fundraising efforts.

Following an article in the News & Star, they managed to attract volunteers.

Mr Whitmore said: "Following the pandemic, we have 55 districts and nearly half of them didn’t have anybody at all that could co-ordinate the Poppy Appeal.

We’re very grateful to the Newsquest group for coming forward and helping.

"Because of that we now have universal coverage all across the region. Those 22 areas have all been covered.

"In addition we have had another 20 or 30 people that have come forward to collect as well. It runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds, the significance of [those volunteers].