POPPY appeal organisers have launched their latest record-breaking bid for injured soldiers and bereaved families.

Collectors hope to beat last year’s amazing £143,518 total to show unwavering support for armed service personnel who continue to fight for Queen and country in Afghanistan.

But they also want the annual campaign to be an act of remembrance for fighters wounded in conflicts such as Iraq and Kosovo and raise money to help with rehabilitation and care.

“The past nine years of conflict have increased the need for our help and for the years to come,” community fundraiser Adele Richmond said.

“Despite the current economic times, we trust the people of Huntingdonshire will show their sympathy and support for those who have sacrificed on behalf of their country.”

Volunteers started to rattle their tins in shops, businesses and supermarkets on Saturday (October 30) after a heartwarming launch at St Ives Golf Club with members of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

They will continue to ask people to delve deep into their pockets until November 14 so they can help the Royal British Legion raise an unprecedented £36 million nationally.

One of those who has benefited from generous donations is Huntingdonshire Sergeant Michael Walker.

Money from the appeal helped pay for his daughter Catherine’s specially adapted bed, designed to help her global delayed disorder.

“At the end of the day it is the Poppy Appeal that supports armed forces, helping homeless and injured veterans and other members still in the armed forces,” he said.

“It’s really important that people in the armed forces can get the help they need.”

The legion will also provide financial help for hard-up soldiers, with Ms Richmond saying: “Our campaigns have led to increased compensation awards which have placed an extra £12 million in the pockets of the most seriously injured.”

In addition young people will join the Army of fundraisers during this year’s appeal.

Anne-Marie Norton, from Hartford,, has raised £900 over the last two years. The 11-year-old will continue collecting with her mum Amanda at Tesco Huntingdon.