"It's something close to the heart. Without the volunteers it wouldn't happen.”

Those are the words of Bridport's delighted Poppy Appeal organiser after the town came up trumps raising nearly £20k for the annual Royal British Legion appeal.

Mike Thompson, Bridport RBL Poppy Appeal Organiser, said he wished to thank the people of Bridport for their generosity.

A total of £19,756.57 has been raised with only a few small donations outstanding.

The Legion said it would like to extend its thanks to the many volunteers who gave their time to collect on behalf of vulnerable serving and retired veterans and their families.

Mike Thompson, Bridport RBL Poppy Appeal Organiser, said: “For me personally, it's an honour and a privilege to raise money for service men, ex-service men and their families who have fallen on hard times during their service."

One such volunteer, Sam Foot, a Morrisons Community Champion co-ordinator, along with Lisa Cadman, collected more than £10,000 from customer donations over 17 days.

Also among them are Brigadier John Dean and Bill Davies from RAFA who, between them, managed the collections at Waitrose and all the local businesses and shops around the town.

Linda Bullock from the Legion organised the street collections on the town's market days and, with her volunteers, managed to raise £1,678.

Local primary schools also had poppy collection boxes and school themed poppy merchandise which subsequently raised over £700.

The Legion also wished to say a special thank you to Bridport resident Marjorie Lathey, who assisted with the street collection in what was her 76th year collecting on behalf of the British Red Cross.