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New ways to support the Poppy Appeal despite Covid-19

12:00am | & Lifestyle

Like so many things this year, the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal has had to adapt to meet the threat of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

With restrictions on face-to-face contact and because so many of its volunteer poppy sellers are at particular risk due to their age, 2020 will be a very different year for the Poppy Appeal. Many other people who always buy a poppy or make their donation through street sellers will themselves be staying at home to safeguard from the virus.

Yet the invaluable work of the Legion goes on and it’s calling on the public to support the Poppy Appeal – by far its biggest annual fundraiser – like never before. To that end, it has developed several new ways for people to support the Poppy Appeal while fully adhering to social distancing measures. Together they form a campaign called ‘Every Poppy Counts’.

The Legion’s Director of Fundraising, Claire Rowcliffe, explained: “Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly makes running the Appeal more difficult, the additional hardships it has brought about means our work is now more vital than ever.

“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods and way of life, leaving some in the Armed Forces community in dire need of urgent help and support. We’re seeing people struggling to cope with the loss of loved ones, facing homelessness and unemployment and battling mental health issues.

“Every poppy makes a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces community. Whilst you may have to do something different to support the Poppy Appeal this year, every poppy counts so we’re asking people to please support us in any way you can.”

Some poppy sellers will still be out and about while also observing social distancing and hand hygiene and face mask protocols. The major supermarkets – Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Aldi ­– will still be selling poppies, which will also be available online through Amazon and eBay. Other ways to support the 2020 Poppy Appeal include:

  • Poppies in the post – people can request 20 poppies free of charge using a form on the British Legion website, then and raise donations from friends and family whilst following social distancing guidelines.
  • Free fundraising packs – from knitting poppies to baking cakes, people who want to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal, however they choose, can order a free fundraising pack by clicking here.
  • Virtual Poppy Runs – with the Legion’s popular park run events unable to take place this year, the charity has launched ‘My Poppy Run’ to help support the Poppy Appeal. Anytime between October 1st and November 30th, people can walk, jog or run, on one day, or over days or weeks, to raise funds through sponsorship and donations. It’s free to register by clicking here and participants can also purchase a medal and T-shirt.
  • Printable Poppy – this is downloadable poppy to display in your window, available by clicking here. You can either download and print off a colour version or a version to colour in. All the Legion asks is that people make a small donation to the Poppy Appeal.
  • Poppy Shop – a wide range of products is available at the Legion’s online poppy shop to support and donate to the appeal. To visit the online shop, click here.
  • By phone – just call the Legion’s friendly fundraising support team on 0845 845 1945 to make a donation over the phone.
  • By text – to donate £2 text POPPY2 to 70545. To donate £5 text POPPY5 and to make it £10 text POPPY10, all to the same number. You’ll be charged £2, £5, or £10 plus one message at your standard network rate. The Royal British Legion will receive 97% of your donation.
  • By post – print off a donation form by clicking here and return it to: Freepost Plus RTZT-ATBH-RGBZ, The Royal British Legion, Bumpers Way, Bumpers Farm, Chippenham, SN14 6NG.
  • Via the website – you can make a monthly or one off donation via the Royal British Legion website by clicking here.

For more details of all they ways to support the 2020 Poppy Appeal, and to learn about how your donations help to support members of the Armed Forces community through thick and thin, click here to visit the Royal British Legion website.

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