Poppy Appeal 2021 marks 100 years of remembrance, hope and support

Every poppy makes a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces community.

Like so many things in 2020, last year’s Poppy Appeal was forced to adapt to the threat of COVID-19.

With millions of people across the UK unable to leave their homes to find a poppy, and with collectors unable to carry out face to face collections, the charity called on the nation to show their support from home.

Whether you donated for poppies in the post, displayed a poppy in your window, fundraised for the Poppy Appeal or took on a virtual Poppy Run, the charity wants to thank you for getting involved and supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal.

Selling poppies in aid of the Poppy Appeal (photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images) SUS-210211-134021001

As the Royal British Legion does its utmost to protect our Second World War generation who are among the most vulnerable within society from coronavirus, the charity is asking members of the public to support the Poppy Appeal in a way they never have before.

Volunteers will still be out collecting in local areas where possible, but there will also be more cashless and digital donation options, and opportunities for supporters to host their own fundraising activity.

People will also be able to donate using a contactless terminal, by text or online via a QR code quick link.

And If you would like to buy poppy items, there’s always a huge range to choose from at the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Shop online at www.britishlegion.org.uk

Selling poppies for the poppy appeal (photo: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images) SUS-210211-134044001

Every poppy makes a difference to the lives of our armed forces community and this year that has become more important than ever, as the community faces some of its toughest challenges following the effects of the pandemic.

Covid-19 has left some in the Armed Forces community in dire need of urgent help. For those struggling with social isolation, financial difficulties and unemployment, to those facing the loss of loved ones and the threat of homelessness, the Legion’s support is more vital than ever.

The red poppy directly supports the Armed Forces community.

Around the remembrance period a variety of poppies are worn.

Chelsea pensioners parade during the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at the Cenotaph in Londonn (photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images) SUS-210211-133823001

The red poppy is worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces communities across the UK, Allied Forces and the Commonwealth.

Only donations from the sale of red poppies go directly towards helping the Armed Forces community.

In 2019 the Poppy Appeal raised more than £50 million by selling more than 40 million poppies, which were distributed by 40,000 volunteers to help support serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces community and their families.

Poppies are sold in every community across the UK.

Get ready for poppy runs in October and November (photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images) SUS-210211-134415001

Every year the rumour that poppy selling has been banned in some communities resurfaces. This is simply not true and each year thousands of volunteers from all walks of life take to the streets, train stations and supermarkets around the country for two weeks during the Poppy Appeal.

While Covid-19 has presented unprecedented challenges this year, the appeal organisers want to ensure that everyone who wants to take part in remembrance can do so, either by making a donation for our traditional poppy, or by taking part in other activities.

The red poppy is a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future.

Poppies are worn as a show of support for the Armed Forces community.

It represents all those who lost their lives on active service in all conflicts; from the beginning of the First World War right up to present day.

It also honours the contribution of civilian services and the uniformed services which contribute to national peace and security and acknowledges innocent civilians who have lost their lives in conflict and acts of terrorism.

Scouts and cubs at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing at Ypres, Belgium (photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) SUS-210211-134032001

The poppy is a well-known and well-established symbol, one that carries a wealth of history and meaning with it.

Wearing a poppy is still a very personal choice, reflecting individual experiences and personal memories. It is never compulsory but is greatly appreciated by those who it is intended to support.

There is no correct way to wear a poppy. From paper poppies to pins, bag charms to pet poppies, and now on face masks, the best way to wear a poppy is simply with pride.

And when the annual Poppy Appeal is over, remember poppies are recyclable. All of the parts of our poppies can be recycled. After Armistice Day you can recycle your poppy at any Sainsbury’s supermarket.

If you want to do more than buy a poppy and help raise even more money for the cause, there are a number of fundraisers taking place.

There are a number of Poppy Runs taking place across the country but if you can’t find one locally, you can join other Royal British legion supporters for My Poppy Run 2021.

Sign up for free and run, walk or jog – any distance, in your own time, at your own pace and a location to suit you.

My Poppy Run gives you the choice to run, walk or jog however it works for you. It could be in the local park, around your local town, or on a treadmill. You can choose how to take part and raise funds to support the 2021 Poppy Appeal.

You can order a special Poppy Run finisher’s medal for £10 and add a t-shirt (£5 adults and £3 children) to mark your achievement.

The My Poppy Run is taking place up until November 30, so there is still time to get involved.

Participants will be encouraged to set up a Justgiving page and post about their challenge on social media. Visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved.

Money raised during the Poppy Appeal helps the Royal British Legion support the Armed Forces community in a variety of ways. This includes providing financial advice to veterans like Lawrence Philips who was struggling to adapt to civilian life and at the mercy of a payday loan company when Covid-19 meant he couldn’t work.

Lawrence turned to the charity for support and, despite the Covid restrictions, the organisation’s benefits, debt and money Advice team were able to help him and his family.

The Poppy Appeal also helps fund services like the Battle Back Centre - the first port of call for wounded, injured and sick service men and women as they start their individual recovery programme.

In 2018 they took a team of 12 serving military (WIS) personnel and veterans on a life-changing expedition in the Himalayas.

The sculpture of the 'Brooding Soldier' in Saint Julien, Belgium (photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) SUS-210211-133746001
Queen Elizabeth II listens to a prayer during the Remembrance Sunday service at The Cenotaph in London (photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images) SUS-210211-135739001