As the corona virus epidemic restricts the traditional work of its fundraisers, the public is urged to find new ways to support the poppy appeal this year.
As the Royal British Legion (RPL) begins its annual campaign on Thursday, social distance needs and volunteers are one of the challenges facing the Armed Forces charity.
The charity says about 40,000 volunteers support the appeal each year, and that number will drop by about 30% this year.
But under the message “Every Poppy Count” encourages people to support alternative ideas to show their support when raising money for current and former members of the Armed Forces who may face hardships, injuries or tragedy.
This includes placing a request through the RPL website that poppies be sent to the post to be distributed among neighbors, family and friends while following social distance guidelines.
Printable poppy is available for download – in color or color – people can adjust to windows.
Supporters can order free fundraising packages online, while supporters can help raise funds for their own “virtual” poppy runs, walks or jokes.
More than 15 million paper poppies will be distributed in supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asta. They are also available online through RBL’s Poppy Shop website.
Cashless donation options are available through QR codes, contactless payments and text donation facility.
To mark this year’s appeal, which runs through Armed Forces Day on November 11, RPL has released a series of photo portraits of members of the Armed Forces, World War II veterans and poppy appeal collectors.
These photos, taken on doors, streets and windows, are aimed at revealing a snapshot of the life of the armed community during the Covid 19 epidemics.
It features World War II veteran Seymour ‘Bill’ Taylor, 95, of Colchester, Essex, who served as an Apple Seaman in the Royal Navy.
During the D-Day landing he was on the HMS Emerald, a light ship that shelled enemy positions threatening invading beaches.
This year, Bill spent most of his time at home with his daughter Janet, who was a shield during epidemics.
“It’s so hard not to be able to go out this year, meet friends, and mark significant anniversaries,” Mr Taylor said.
“However, I admire those at the forefront of dealing with this horrible virus every day. They have shown the same sense of duty that my generation did during World War II. They are the ones who are now protecting our community.
“So, while I’m not going to march to the local memorial this year to remember those we lost, I will proudly observe the silence on my doorstep and wear my poppy, as I do every year, with pride.”
A spokesman for the RBL said some volunteers will take to the streets this year, depending on local authority and government guidelines for their region.
“The safety of the public, our staff, members and volunteers is our top priority, and we work with charitable regulators and relevant local and national authorities to ensure that all activities are safe and in compliance with national and regional regulations,” he added.
The public has already been urged to mark Remembrance Sunday next month at home due to the corona virus crisis, in which they were asked to stay away from this year’s national memorial service at the cemetery in Whitehall.
A limited number of people, including members of the armed forces, members of the royal family and international leaders, will be allowed to attend the service on November 8.
For the first time in the cemetery’s 100-year history, the 11 a.m. service will traditionally be closed to members of the public.
RBL’s fundraising director Claire Rogliff said: “The Covid-19 epidemic is undoubtedly making it very difficult to run an appeal, and the additional difficulties it has brought about indicate that our work is more important now than ever before.
“The epidemic has had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods and livelihoods, and some in the armed community need urgent help and support.
He added: “Every poppy makes a difference in the lives of our armed community.
“You have to do something else to support the poppy appeal this year, every poppy count, so we ask people to support us in any way you can.”