On Monday 22nd May the Co-op Distribution centre in Alfreton launched 2 lorries onto the road with fantastic poppy designs. The Co-op are big supporters of The Royal British Legion, with many of their employees being veterans, having served in the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. The reason to launch the ‘poppy lorries’ now rather than in November is to commemorate the Falklands war which ended 14th June 1982, 35 years ago.
John Sheppard, a Co-op employee, feels especially passionate about raising money for the Poppy Appeal. John served in the Falklands and he remembers what he went through vividly; “I remember my comrades who didn’t come back. Many who were only 18 and 19 years old”.
RBL Community Fundraiser, Lilly Clements said, “The Royal British Legion wants to encourage people to ‘Rethink Remembrance’. The poppy and the work of the Legion are often associated with the First and Second World Wars and elderly veterans; we want the public to consider all generations of the Armed Forces community when they see these lorries.”
The service of the Armed Forces community to the nation comes in many forms from being parted from family and loved ones for long periods of time, commitment to training, to physical and mental injury and sadly in some cases making the ultimate sacrifice. Individuals and families from across the generations need the Legion’s support.
Co-op Distribution Manager, Leon Exton-Russell said, “I’m extremely proud to be supporting the Legion, and of my colleagues who have served. The co-op is keen to support their employees, we have shared values and beliefs and encourage building closer links with our local communities. We are honoured to have the local Royal British Legion branch here to launch our ‘poppy lorries’, it’s what the co-op is all about. Together we can make great thing happen in our communities.”
RBL Community Fundraiser, Lilly Clements goes on to say, “Now the lorries are on the road, we’d love to see any photos of them out and about. You will be able to spot them anywhere in North Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and as far South as Cheltenham. Please take a photo and upload to twitter using the hashtag #RethinkRemembrance. I have some 2017 poppy pin badges to give away for every photo.”