RAFA Battle of Britain Wings Appeal

Every September for the past eight years I've given up two Saturday mornings to stand outside a local shop to collect money for a charity.

The RAFA Battle of Britain Wings Appeal is a charity I feel passionate about.

There are so many charities, so many good causes, that we can't support them all. Like most people I have a few I am happy to put myself out for and in September it's the Wings Appeal.

The collection supports two causes - it raises awareness of the Battle of Britain and the debt owed to our service personnel during the 2nd World War. And of course it hopefully raises money for injured personnel from more recent conflicts.

Standing outside a shop for a couple of hours is so insignificant compared to the stories behind the charity's work. Young families, struggling with rising costs, are a delight when they hand their children a few pennies for the tin. Hopefully they will explain what the collection's for.

Pensioners, struggling with the same rising costs, are humbling as they drop a pound or two in the tin. In fact there is no one generation that gives more than another - all seem to find something in their pocket.

Of course you always get the smart Alec. "Sorry, I don't support war." Well Alec, all I can say to you is that you're damned lucky that you live in a democracy, won by people who probably felt the same way - but still signed up, fought and often gave up their own lives for future generations to live in freedom.

As I said, we all have our favourite charities. We can't give to them all. Every volunteer knows that and doesn't expect something from everyone that passes by. Please don't avoid eye contact, just smile and walk on by.

So this September, what will I be doing? Sadly the local branch that organise the collection aren't able to arrange anything. They're hoping to organise something in October and if they do, I'll be there.

And if you see someone collecting, please find a penny or two.