RBL seeks new Poppy Appeal collectors in West Yorkshire

The Royal British Legion is seeking new volunteers for this year’s centenary Poppy Appeal across Huddersfield and more widely West Yorkshire.

Last year, the RBL missed out on £20m in donations after face-to-face collections were cancelled for the first time in the charity’s history due to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst many volunteers decided to step down during the pandemic.

The RBL, which marks its 100th anniversary in 2021, is now looking for new Poppy Appeal Organisers to cover a number of areas including Huddersfield, Keighley, Illingworth, Clayton West and Skelmanthorpe.

Gilly Carr, Community Fundraiser for Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees, said: “We really want to thank everyone across our region who got involved and supported the Poppy Appeal in 2020, and although we are only in June, work is already in progress for this year’s Appeal.

“We have seen a reduction in the number of our collectors following the pandemic, with many still anxious about returning to their normal way of life, but the RBL still has a job to do and we are optimistic for 2021.

“The RBL’s work is even more vital than ever as we support people from all generations who have new hardships as a result of Covid -19, which has had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods right across West Yorkshire, leaving some in our Armed Forces community in dire need of help and support.”

During periods of lockdown and national restrictions, calls for assistance for accessing food increased dramatically, as people needed help to feed themselves and their families.

The RBL is currently helping people who are isolated from family, feeling lonely, facing homelessness, struggling to feed their children or in financial crisis. Many of them never imagined they would have to ask for charity support.  

Gilly added: “Our volunteers are more important than ever. Every year they play a critical role across the region to meet the huge public demand for our poppies, the nation’s symbol of Remembrance.

“The Appeal raises about half of the funds we need for our welfare work every year and we will launch the Appeal on October 28. There is a lot of planning before that date, of course, but anyone who volunteers will receive lots of support and enjoyment from taking part.”

Red poppies are worn proudly by the British public from the launch date until Remembrance Sunday or 11 November, whichever is later.

Anyone who would like to volunteer this year can email GCarr@britishlegion.org.uk

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