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Cedars Park Primary School receives first Stowmarket Poppy Appeal award named after late teacher

Cedars Park Primary School has become the first recipient of a new Stowmarket Royal British Legion award after raising thousands of pounds for the Poppy Appeal.

The inaugural Sue Priest Award was presented to pupils at Cedars Park, praising them for their incredible fundraising efforts.

The school has raised a massive £5,576 for the charity in the last decade, with a record high in 2021 – when pupils raised £674.

Aisha Suhail, Headteacher at Cedars Park Primary School, said: “The children go into an absolute frenzy every November for the Poppy Appeal. They really do love getting involved.

“That’s why it was so exciting to hear about this award. The children were thrilled to find out they were receiving it and are looking forward to raising even more money for the charity in November.”

The new award is named after Sue Priest, a former geography and history teacher from Kent, who, after moving to Suffolk in her retirement, became one of the charity’s most dedicated fundraisers.

Supporting projects like the Remembrance Exhibition at the Museum of East Anglian Life, Sue became Chairman of the Stowmarket Women’s Section Branch in 2018.

Her father Peter had served in the RAF for 22 years and was awarded the Suez Canal Zone Medal for his service. Her uncle had also fought on D-Day while her grandfather served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War One.

Sue sadly passed away in July last year.

Rachel Oakley, Royal British Legion Poppy Organiser for Stowmarket, said: “Sue was such a lovely person and was dedicated to supporting the Royal British Legion.

“She put everything she had into the Poppy Appeal every year after first joining the Stowmarket branch and ended up supporting several other local veteran’s organisations as well as the women’s section.

“She had a dog named Poppy, after the appeal, and we would always make sure to buy her a Christmas present every year.

“As a teacher, it would have meant so much to her knowing the award named after her has gone to a school.”

Stowmarket Town Councillor Dave Muller, who has served with the RAF Volunteer Reserve and previously ran an Air Cadets squadron in the 1980s, said: “It was an absolute honour to be invited to present this award.

“The Stowmarket branch of the Royal British Legion does fantastic work raising money to support veterans in our local area.

“My late father served in the Royal Navy as a Chief Petty Officer, so it means a lot to have been invited and hear about what the children have done for the campaign.”

For more on Cedars Park Primary School see