- Public can show their support by displaying a poppy in windows at home and standing on doorsteps for Two Minute Silence
- Charity has announced a number of remote ways to honour Armed Forces community
- The Royal British Legion says online donations are critical as England prepares to enter a second national lockdown
Following the announcement of a second national lockdown in England from Thursday 5 November, The Royal British Legion is calling on the public to use remote and socially distanced methods to honour the service and sacrifice of all who have served with the British Armed Forces this weekend. Remembrance services and parades across the UK have been impacted by Covid-19 related restrictions, with fewer events taking place across the nations and a scaled back service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
With many people no longer able to take part in Remembrance events, the Legion is asking the public to play their part from home and participate in remote acts of Remembrance including standing on their doorstep during the Two Minute Silence, displaying a poppy in their window, and watching the Festival of Remembrance and service at the Cenotaph on BBC One. Most of the Fields of Remembrance that usually take place across the UK have also been cancelled, and instead the Legion has a virtual Field of Remembrance on its website for people to make and view tributes online.
The charity has also issued an urgent plea for people to donate to the Poppy Appeal online this year. With millions of people across the UK now unable to leave their homes to find a poppy, and with the charity pulling all face to face collections owing to the new lockdown rules, the Legion is urging people to make a donation online and download a poppy to display in their window.
The Royal British Legion’s Director General, Charles Byrne said:
“Remembrance is a unique time in the year when people from all communities, cultures and ages come together and pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces community, past and present. This year, however, we can’t stand together at Remembrance services and therefore the Legion is urging people to participate remotely and visually show their support by placing a poppy in their window, or standing on their doorstep for the Two Minute Silence.
“This will be the first time in the history of the Poppy Appeal that our volunteers will be unable to carry out face to face collections anywhere across the UK. The loss of that activity could run into millions of pounds in fundraising which means online donations are crucial, and so we’re asking people to support the Poppy Appeal by donating via the Legion’s website.
“Every poppy counts so whether you choose to print off a downloadable poppy from the Legion’s website or draw your own, we are calling on everyone across the nations to unite in a UK-wide show of support from home, display a poppy in their window in time for Remembrance Sunday and pay tribute to our Armed Forces community.”
Never before in the charity’s history, even throughout the Second World War, have all face to face collections been cancelled, and the loss of vital funds could impact the support the Legion provides to hundreds of thousands of members of the Armed Forces community each year. The Legion has put contingency plans in place to cover the eventuality of a full lockdown during the Appeal, including its online donation facility, text to donate options, and working with supermarket partners to provide till point donations.
For those who can leave their homes, poppies are available at major supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, with Sainsbury’s and Morrisons also offering an option to donate at the till. Larger Post Offices will also have poppies available.
The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal takes place from 22nd October until Armistice Day on 11th November. Approximately £50 million is raised each year during this vital fundraising period and is used to provide life-long support to serving and ex-serving members of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants through hardships, injuries and bereavements.
Throughout this year’s Poppy Appeal the Legion is celebrating the contribution of every member of the Armed Forces from the Second World War generation who stepped up to defend our way of life 75 years ago, to today’s Armed Forces who, once again, have been there during a time of national crisis standing alongside essential workers on the front line in the fight against Covid-19.
More information on ways to support the Poppy Appeal can be found at www.rbl.org.uk/poppyappeal