PLANS are coming together for this year’s Poppy Appeal and Festival of Remembrance with the commemorations taking special significance due to 2014 being the centenary of the First World War.

The festival will be taking place at the Wyvern Theatre on November 2 with Sergeant Major Gary Chilton, from The Soldiers singing group, performing as well as the Academy Military Wives Choir and Wessex Male Choir.

Shirley Ludford, manager of community radio station Swindon 105.5, is leading the team organising the event, and met with new Poppy Appeal organiser April Porter to discuss the commemorations at the town’s cenotaph.

“It is important to reflect on and honour those involved with earlier conflicts as well as make the event relevant to the many servicemen and women representing our country today,” Shirley said.

“I know that the people of Swindon are passionately behind the Armed Forces, especially given the significance of 2014, so I’m sure they’ll support this event. We have refreshed the approach to organising the Festival of Remembrance this year, as we believe it will help it appeal to a wide cross-section of ages”.

April has taken on the role of organising Swindon’s Poppy Appeal, which runs through the Royal British Legion, from the town’s branch chairman Alan Baker.

The campaign runs nationally to raise money to support past and present servicemen and their families.

April said: “This is only my third year being part of the appeal so this is rather daunting to take on the organising but I’m absolutely thrilled.”

April has quite a few close family connections to the forces so the cause is very special to her.

“This is going to be a big learning curve for me but it is something I’m hugely looking forward to. Last year we raised around £40,000, so it would be great to raise £50,000, but whatever we raise I’m sure the people of Swindon will donate generously.

“We’d also welcome anyone who’d like to be part of the people and who’d like to collect funds.”

For more information about being part of Swindon’s poppy appeal call April on 01793 618748.