DCSIMG

Fears Botesdale the next RBL branch to close

Hoxne, Suffolk. Rememberance Sunday Service at Hoxne Church with the laying up of the Standard of the Hoxne RBL Branch as no one has come forward to continue the branch ENGANL00120131111104441

Hoxne, Suffolk. Rememberance Sunday Service at Hoxne Church with the laying up of the Standard of the Hoxne RBL Branch as no one has come forward to continue the branch ENGANL00120131111104441

There are fears Botesdale could be the next Royal British Legion Branch to discontinue when its fate is decided at an AGM set for later this month.

The branch, which received its first standard in 1931, has 31 members, but requires eight committee members.

John Canning, branch chairman, said an influx of young people, between 20 and 60-years-old, was needed.

“Nothing will be decided until the Annual General Meeting on July 23,” he said. “At that stage the members of the branch will decide what is to be done.

“It is a matter of members and old age. We have three members over 90 years old.The only way is to get an influx of younger people.

“I fear that it will finish this year.”

There were around 600,000 members of the RBL nationally in 1999. Now, the figure stands at roughly half.

County secretary for Suffolk RBL, Sandra Bromley, said it was not a case of a lack of members - but a lack of people willing to take on branch roles.

In her spell as county secretary, which has just passed the four year mark, she has seen the number of branches drop from more than 60 to 54, citing a lack of volunteers in the 50 to 60-year-old age range.

“It is not the lack of members, it is the lack of members stepping up to take on the branch official posts and that is why we have had to close quite big branches,” she said.

“The branches cannot run without people to take on the posts.

“That is a sign of the times that the membership is getting a lot older and people are not prepared to give the time to take the posts up.

“The branch structure is important because they are the ones that are out there in the community and make that liaison between people needing help and getting them into the system.”

For Suffolk RBL branch membership enquiries, contact 01473 784618.

The RBL also has a national freephone helpline on 0808 802 8080.

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page

 

X scottish independence image

Keep up-to-date with all the latest Referendum news