A DEDICATED poppy seller has been honoured for 40 years’ service at More Radio’s Mid Sussex Awards.
Fred Wheatland, an electricity substation inspector at UK Power Networks, won the Community Achievement Award at an event at the South of England Showground, Ardingly, last week.
Over the last 40 years, Mr Wheatland, from Burgess Hill, has raised more than £25,000 for war veterans as a volunteer for the annual Poppy Appeal.
He will be starting his annual collection at Tesco in Jane Murray Way in the week beginning November 6.
The company gives all its employees two paid days each year to take part in fundraising or volunteering in their local communities and Mr Wheatland uses this, together with three days’ annual leave, to spend a full week each year collecting for the appeal.
He said: “I’m very proud to have won this award on behalf of the Royal British Legion (RBL) Poppy Appeal.
“In my mind there were others on the night who were more deserving than myself, but I’m so grateful to win an award that will highlight the work of the charity.
“Every November we remember the sacrifices of those who served in the First World War and Second World War and all the conflicts since. A lot of funds go towards the rehabilitation of those with life-changing injuries and respite for their dedicated carers.
“I willingly give my free time for those who have suffered and those who continue to suffer as a result of conflicts. We are here living the life we do thanks to those who fought for us. This is my way of expressing thanks to those who sacrificed so much for us. If nobody had fought for us our country would not be the one it is today.”
Anna Bingham, from More Radio, said: “It was such an honour finally meeting Fred. It’s amazing that someone has been so dedicated to spending their own time helping others and really making a difference in the community, for so many years. He really is a true inspiration.”
A spokesman for the RBL, said: “People like Fred are at the very heart of the Poppy Appeal. It simply wouldn’t be possible to organise the appeal without the support of people like Fred.”
Source: The Argus