The Royal British Legion 100th anniversary award, or the centenary medal, has been awarded to husband and wife Sandra and Dave Gittus MBE – long time residents of Wellington Road, Newport.
Sandra is the president of RBL Women's Section in Newport, and is a tireless and dedicated member. She is always first to help at any event, whether it is tea-making or selling raffle tickets,and proudly represented her branch at GP90 in Ypres.
She works very hard for her local poppy appeal, manning a stall in her local Aldi, and has managed to beat her previous year's fundraising total every time.
Dave has volunteered for the poppy appeal in Newport for the past 15 years. He stands outside in the High Street in all weathers, chatting to everyone who comes to get a poppy from his box, and is always ready to answer questions about the RBL and the armed forces. His big heart and willingness to help has led to him raising around £1,000 every year.
Dave said they were shocked to have received the award, but were really pleased to be recognised this way.
"We received the centenary medal for our service," he explained.
"My wife has been a member of the legion for 40 years and she was a poppy collector amongst other things. I said I would help out as well and finished up the last 10 years or so – that's how we started really.
"For two weeks every year I stand outside B&M in town for the poppy appeal. We have both raised a lot of money over the years.
"The local legion members, because of the national anniversary, were asked to nominate people from their branch. Out of 400 people in Great Britain we were two people to be awarded the medal.
"We were pretty shocked to receive it, but are so pleased. The legion is always looking for volunteers to help out on the poppy appeal."
For those willing to assist with the poppy appeal, contact Ann Whitfield at email@example.com