RBL fundraiser on whistlestop station tour

THE Bisley, Knaphill and West End branch of the Royal British Legion welcomed fundraiser Mike Homer as he passed through Woking station on an epic rail trip.

Mike, the Poppy Appeal organiser for the Fareham branch, took up the challenge of visiting 100 legion branches in 100 hours by train. The branches spanned nine counties.

PLATFORM FOR SUCCESS – Fundraiser Mike Homer, centre, with (left to right) Saj Hussain, Marilyn White, Daisy Homer, Linda Kemeny and John Kingsbury at Woking station

He decided on the challenge when he realised that, because of COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Poppy Appeal was not going to raise nearly as much as usual.

A rail enthusiast, Mike, 82, saw his hobby as a way to attract funds for his branch’s Poppy Appeal.

Getting Mike to the right station at the right time proved a triumph of organisation, especially as Mike is wheelchair bound because of a balance problem. He also has a hearing loss due in part to his army service.

Woking station staff were well prepared and welcoming. They carefully helped Mike off his train on arrival and took him to another platform for his departure.

As he waited, Linda Kemeny, Poppy Appeal organiser for Bisley, Knaphill and West End, signed a certificate confirming Mike’s visit to Woking and photographs were taken to record the event.

Also on hand to greet Mike were John Kingsbury, chairman of the Bisley branch and vice chairman of Surrey County RBL, Linda Kemeny, Cllr Saj Hussain, deputy mayor of Woking and vice chairman of Surrey County Council, as well as being an RBL activist, Daisy Homer, and Marilyn White from the charity One Community, which has helped Mike to organise his challenge.

To keep to his packed schedule, Mike allowed about 30 minutes on average for each visit.

He has so far raised more than £3,000 towards his target of £5,000.

For more information or to donate, visit justgiving.com and search for “Mike Homer 100 branches”

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