GLOWING tributes have been paid to a South Tyneside Poppy Appeal champion.
Ann Taylor has been involved with the Royal British Legion for more than 30 years.
And the 69-year-old has dedicated her life to organising its Poppy Appeal in the borough, collecting thousands of pounds.
Now after announcing her retirement, she was honoured at a special ‘thank you’ reception at South Shields Town Hall.
The great-grandmother, from Tyne Dock, has also helped organise the special Remembrance Service in West Park, South Shields, for many years, where members of the public gather to pay their respects to those servicemen and women who have lost their lives in conflicts.
The Armed Forces have played a significant role in her life with her late husband, George, having completed his national service with the Royal Hussars and her son, David, having served with the Royal Green Jackets (now known as The Rifles), including making three tours of Northern Ireland.
A reception in her honour was held at the Town Hall by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Couns Eileen Leask and Olive Punchion.
Mrs Taylor, who also has a daughter, Barbara, along with four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, said: “I can only hope my successor as Poppy Appeal organiser receives as much support as I did from the people of South Shields.”
Coun Leask added: “Ann has done a marvellous job with her tireless contributions to the Poppy Appeal, alongside other Royal British Legion volunteers.
“It has meant vital support has been given to ex-service people and their families across South Tyneside, recognising the sacrifices that have been made for us all.”
Rachel Jobson, community fundraiser for the Royal British Legion, said: “We cannot thank Ann enough for her support over the years.
“Last year, the appeal in South Shields raised over £29,500 and this quite simply would not have happened with her help.
“I do hope she is proud in the knowledge that the money she has helped to raise makes a real difference to the lives of servicemen and women, past and present, and their families.”
Anyone who is interested in taking up Ann’s work for the Poppy Appeal can contact Rachel Jobson on 495 9518 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.