THE Sun today urges Britain to save the Poppy Appeal as Covid-19 stops a vulnerable 12,000 of 40,000 sellers taking part this year.
Stars David Beckham and Anthony Joshua want people to boost the coffers online.
Fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore, 100, added: “The Legion faces a difficult time. We must all help them so they can help their friends in this time of need.”
Show your support at rbl.org.uk/poppyappeal
You can help with online and contactless donations, and Becks, 45, said: “Since I was a boy I have always worn a poppy with pride every year.
“It makes me remember my grandfather who always gave me my poppy and it’s a tradition I have kept up with my own children.
"In these difficult times I hope everyone goes online, remembers those who sacrificed so much for us all and supports this year’s appeal.”
Captain Tom Moore, knighted for raising £39million by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden, posed with two poppies and urged people to dig deep.
Captain Tom, 100, is helping the Royal British Legion through his own charitable foundation, and sends a cross to one of the Legion’s Fields of Remembrance.
He revealed: “I put the same message on it every year, It Could Have Been Me.”
Capt Tom added: “The Legion faces a difficult time. We must all help them so they can help friends and comrades in their time of need.”
Other stars rallied to The Sun’s campaign. Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said: “Like so many things the Poppy Appeal is likely to be hit hard by the ramifications of the pandemic.
“Let’s support them by donating online. Ping a few pounds for a poppy.”
How to be a poppy star
THE pandemic may have stopped thousands of sellers from hitting the streets — but it doesn’t have to stop you from buying a poppy. MIKE RIDLEY looks at some of the ways you can do your bit for the appeal by going to:
- Fundraise for appeal: Move to Remember and the 11/11 Challenge are among the fundraising suggestions from the appeal itself. Free fundraising packs on the website will give the help and support you will need.
- Poppies in the post: Help make up for the reduced number of volunteer collectors by requesting 20 poppies free of charge from the RBL — and then giving them to friends and family yourself in return for a donation.
- My poppy run 2020: Run, walk or jog any distance, anywhere and at any time. Get family and friends involved to raise cash. And buy a T-shirt to run in and a medal to give to yourself afterwards!
- Visit the poppy shop: There is an extensive range of products from poppy pins and jewellery to clothing, stationery and homeware. All profits fund the Legion’s work in supporting the Armed Forces community.
- Make online donation: Alternatively, you could just visit the British Legion’s website and make a donation. You can choose a one-off payment or set up a regular amount — and no amount is too small.
…OR POP INTO YOUR LOCAL SAINSBURY’S, TESCO, ASDA, ALDI OR MORRISONS AND BUY A POPPY
Boxing hero Anthony Joshua said: “There’s never been a more important time to remember our fallen. The pandemic is one of the biggest peacetime challenges the world has faced in modern history.
“But Covid won’t cast its shadow over the Poppy Appeal. This country will never forget and just like every year you can still get your poppy and wear it with pride.
“Online donations give even more ways for people to help in just the same way. This bug won’t beat us, it can only unite us.”
Britain’s Got Talent star Amanda Holden said: “It’s so important we remember our heroes. Please go online and support the poppy appeal. It is more important than ever.”
Countdown legend Carol Vorderman added: “Please support the great work of the Royal Legion, and do your bit by buying a poppy by any means possible.”
TV’s Piers Morgan said: “We must never forget the extraordinary sacrifice so many made in World War Two.
“This year, more than any other, we can all so much more powerfully appreciate the value of the freedom that they fought to preserve.
"Please do all you can to remember them.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told The Sun: “The Poppy Appeal is a staple of the fundraising calendar.
"This year we need to channel that generosity of spirit in new ways.
“I’m confident we can come together and make sure everyone who would usually donate is able to. And I’m hugely supportive of The Sun’s campaign to make that happen.”
The Legion raised more than £100million last year — including £50million from the annual Poppy Appeal.
Last year’s total included a three-fold increase in contactless collection, generating £750,000. Organisers hope this will soar this autumn.
Around 40,000 Legion supporters usually sell 40million poppies a year — but their ranks will be down 12,000 this October and November.
Those who brave Covid will be advised to wear a mask, sanitise hands and work behind a table where possible to maximise distance.
The Legion said planning was well advanced and tailored to cope with the pandemic.
A spokesman told The Sun: “We will be affected like many other charities but it is hard to say how badly.
“The risk of transmitting the virus through selling poppies is obvious, particularly as many volunteers are elderly, so we are having to work on new ways of raising money.
“It’s hoped the shortfall can be made up, but there’s no doubt it will be a very challenging year.”
Wellwishers are encouraged to bulk buy poppies through the Legion’s website and distribute them safely to friends and family if they don’t have access to a traditional seller.
They can make a donation to buy a poppy poster online which can be downloaded, printed and displayed at home.
Other ideas include shoppers opting to round up their total to the nearest pound at supermarkets.
The Legion added: “Our community of staff, volunteers, partners and suppliers have been working together to ensure the 2020 Poppy Appeal goes ahead.
“There will be more ways than ever before for people to support, including collections in supermarkets and a new range of fundraising and donation tools online.
“Every year the Poppy Appeal is supported by 40,000 volunteers who work tirelessly across a number of roles.
“While the majority will be continuing their work, some will not because of the ongoing impact of Covid-19. We fully respect and support them.”
To raise money or donate, see the panel on the left.
We need you more than ever
By Claire Rowcliffe, Legion’s Head of Fundraising
IT is more important than ever that people continue to back the Poppy Appeal — but this time in a new way.
Each year 40,000 volunteers make the Poppy Appeal happen. However, this year things have to change.
Many of our collectors now fall into vulnerable categories and it is simply not safe for them to carry out their usual face-to-face collections.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods across every sector of society, including the Armed Forces community, some of whom are now in dire need of urgent help.
Across generations, we have relied on the courage of our Armed Forces during times of crisis and this year they have once again stepped up, standing alongside essential workers against Covid-19.
However people choose to support us, every poppy will make a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces community who, across the generations, have continued to step up to defend our way of life.
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