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Homeless ex-soldier praised for fund-raising
6:40pm Saturday 12th January 2013 in News
A FORMER soldier who is a long-term resident at a Worcester homeless shelter has been praised for his Poppy Appeal fund-raising efforts.
Bill Hyde, who has stayed at the YMCA on Henwick Road since 1988, collected £1,469 for the Royal British Legion (RBL), selling poppies in the city’s CrownGate shopping centre throughout November.
The charity is close to the 62-year-old’s heart after he served with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Regiment, known affectionately as the Woofers, in the 1970s as a rifleman.
Mr Hyde was told by the Worcester RBL branch how much he had raised on Tuesday evening and has been touched by people’s generosity.
“I was told I would raise about £1,000 but when I was handed the card to tell me the actual total I was very happy with that, I was very pleased.
“Not only did people put money in the box for a poppy but there were others who had collected their pennies in money bags and donated, saying they didn’t need a poppy because they’d already bought one.”
Staff at the YMCA praised Mr Hyde, who they described as a very valuable resident.
Development worker Abby Hanley said: “He is always getting involved in fund-raising and has done a lots of charity events in the past.
“We didn’t realise he had raised quite so much money.”
As well as being a resident, Mr Hyde volunteers at the YMCA’s night assessment shelter.
He also helps with the charity’s Sleep Easy fund-raising event, which sees people spend a night on the streets in return for donations.
The event is set to return in March.