A CAMPAIGN fundraiser has revived hopes of reopening a defunct branch of The British Legion.

Sharon Bonner, 56, of Hornchurch, said “never say never” about the future of the Wanstead and Woodford branch, which closed two years ago.

The branch merged with Walthamstow but was then subsumed by the Chingford arm due to members’ travel difficulties.

Mrs Bonner, who has worked for The British Legion for a decade, said it would be “fantastic” if it reopened and with a new generation of support, could make a return.

She said: “You never say you will never open again. We might open it again if we get enough people interested. All our branches opened a long time ago and it was sad to lose a branch.

“If we drum up enough interest then we could open it again which would be fantastic.

“As members get older you need new ones. Old ones don’t want to take on responsibilities. 

“This area has always been close to my heart. I knew a lot of people in the Woodford Green branch.

The Walthamstow-Wanstead-Woodford merger failed because of the distance between the branches.

Mrs Bonner said: “The merger didn’t work out because it was too far to travel which didn’t suit the older membership. It was too far for people to go.”

Despite the Wanstead and Woodford branch being part of the Chingford arm, poppy appeals still carry on in both towns.

Members performed heroically in last year’s poppy appeals in Wanstead and Woodford, raising nearly a quarter of £100,000.

A total of £20,441 was raised in Woodford Green and £4,389 was raised in Wanstead.

Mrs Bonner, who is the community fundraiser for The British Legion in the region of north east London, said they could better that total if they had more help.

She said: “Members did really well last year and raised a lot of money in north east London alone. That’s fantastic.

“This year’s appeal is going well. It’s run by me in Chingford. We have got an appeal out for people to take part but haven’t heard anything. 

“However, I am very hopeful - lots of poppies have been delivered.”