Havant poppy appeal organiser announces decision to step down after 40 years

A DEDICATED charity worker is stepping down from her role as Havant and Emsworth’s poppy appeal organiser after 40 years at the helm.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 6:00 am
Olive Rush is stepping down as poppy appeal organiser in Havant. Pictured here in 2016 with Mayor Cllr Faith Ponsoby and RBL branch chairman Dave Argue at the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Day at Tesco Extra, Havant. Pic Mick Young

Olive Rush has been involved with the Royal British Legion for 50 years, and even as a young girl was knocking on people’s doors to help with the appeal.

She took over organising in Havant and Emsworth in 1979 after her mother died, and has decided to step down after four decades of poppy selling, counting donations and pulling the organisation together.

Olive said: ‘I won’t disappear, I’ll still be there to back it up. I always thought it was a good cause.

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Pictured in 2015 is Chairman Havant branch The Royal British Legion, Dave Argue, Mayor's consort Andy Cousins, Olive Rush poppy appeal organiser, and then-Mayor of Havant Cllr Leah Turner. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151754-399)

‘When it comes to September I won’t know what to do.’

She joined the parade from the Royal British Legion in Brockhampton Lane to the war memorial on Sunday for the first time in eight or nine years, as her family organised for a wheelchair to help her make the journey.

‘It was lovely because you have a whole battalion of soldiers, 50 of them.’ said Olive.

Both of her husbands and stepfather were ex-services, which helped Olive over the years while she undertook this role.

Olive plans a ‘final fling’ in January, when she will present businesses and shops with their recognition certificates for the money raised for remembrance.

Taking over as organiser of the Havant and Emsworth appeal will be Anne Newcombe from Havant.

She said: ‘I’ve been helping Olive for a few years, I did my nurse training in the army many years ago and have lots of relatives who were in the services.’