Naomi, 9, helps poppy seller of 46 years raise funds in Royston

Naomi Digby and Shirley Moore selling poppies at Royston's Tesco Extra in Old North Road. Picture: L

Naomi Digby and Shirley Moore selling poppies at Royston's Tesco Extra in Old North Road. Picture: Lisa Moore - Credit: Archant

A poppy appeal volunteer of more than 40 years has been joined by a nine-year-old helper in Royston for part of this year’s fundraising effort, after the youngster was inspired by her dedication to the cause.

This is Shirley Moore's 46th year selling poppies - she started out in London and then carried on in Royston when she moved to the town in 1975. The only year she has missed in that time was in 1976 when her second child was born.

The 72-year-old grandmother told the Crow: "I'm from an army family, my husband was in the army, my dad was a 'Burma boy' in the Second World War - he came back when others didn't.

"It is rewarding - you meet fantastic people when you sell poppies, and hear their stories.

"I asked a lady wearing a brooch what it meant, and she said her daughter had been killed in Afghanistan, and that was upsetting. It shows that the cause is still important today."

Shirley sold poppies outside the post office in Royston High Street each November until 15 years ago, when she moved indoors to a warmer spot in Tesco Extra - she said her volunteering is "her good deed for the year".

Last year, on one of Shirley's final collecting days, Naomi Digby visited Tesco with her mum and her two sisters and wanted to help - so for the next hour she did.

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It was the final collecting day before Remembrance Sunday, so Naomi couldn't help out again. Shirley did however promise her that she could come back again this year.

On Monday, the Roman Way First School pupil was back again by Shirley's side raising money for the Royal British Legion for her late-afternoon shift.

Shirley said: "We are really proud of the work Naomi has done. It's lovely to see someone so young getting involved.

"I probably will be back next year, I have said I was going to stop and but I'm thinking I want to get to 50 years. I would love to live long enough to see Naomi take over."

Roman Way Academy Year 4 pupil Naomi lives in Royston with mum Nikki, dad Ryan and her sisters.

She said: "My favourite thing about selling poppies is making money for the charity. I want to be a good volunteer, and it feels really nice that I can be next to Shirley and sell poppies."

Nikki said: "I'm always very proud of Naomi, she always wants to go the extra mile to help and she's very passionate about Remembrance Sunday.

"The age difference between Shirley and Naomi doesn't matter, they are such good friends. She jumped for joy when she knew she could help out again."

Shirley will be continuing her fundraising at Tesco Extra from 3pm to 5.30pm each day in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday.