A GUIDING light in raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Poppy Appeal and raising the profile of the Royal British Legion in South Derbyshire is stepping aside.
Philip Skawski has took the decision to withdraw from his role as chairman of the Swadlincote and District Branch of the Royal British Legion after being handed the new position of county vice-chairman for the Royal British Legion in Derbyshire.
Educated at Ashby Boys Grammar School, Mr Skawski studied economics and industrial relations at Vaughn College in Leicester prior to joining the Army.
After a successful 22-year career, he returned to the area and became involved in the local legion, holding the posts of standard-bearer, treasurer, secretary, vice-chairman and chairman at various times during the last 15 years.
He told the Mail: “It gives me an opportunity to bring what talent I have and my life experiences to the table to ensure those who are less fortunate within the serving and retired military family are supported and assisted as much as possible.
“The legion is there to serve, we have no other remit.
“I commend every other charity that strives in the same arena, but the legion serves every day and has been doing so for nearly 100 years.”
Although taking on many new responsibilities, Mr Skawski will continue to be heavily involved with the branch.
He added: “Local branches are the lifeblood of the legion.
“I will continue to support my branch and community in any way I can.”
He is the second successive Swadlincote member to hold the position, as he takes over from Swadlincote branch president Stuart Allen, who stepped down following his appointment to the National Membership Council.
Mr Skawski has helped to raise more than £300,000 via the Poppy Appeal during this time with the branch through bucket collections and the sales of poppies across the district.
He also played a vital role in organising Remembrance Day events in the area, which have included marches and the laying of poppy wreaths at numerous locations.