World News – CA – Merseyside’s generosity to Poppy Appeal has not diminished


The generosity of the people of Merseyside has not diminished despite a difficult year for the Poppy Appeal of the Royal British Legion

Public events cannot go as planned on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, due to the need to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

And while these days of remembrance will be different from usual, residents were able to show their respect by making donations, laying wreaths at local cenotaphs and memorials, or honoring a two-minute silence at their doorstep. at home

We spoke to volunteers in Merseyside about the appearance of the appeal this year and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Born and raised in Longview, Huyton, Ronnie Lewis, 81, served in the Royal Airforce for three years in Cyprus and was involved in the Poppy Appeal for half a century

He joined the Huyton branch with Roby in 1969 and has helped organize the local appeal and poppy sale since

Ronnie called this year « frustrating » as volunteers have been « limited » in what they can do – but said public generosity has not changed

He told ECHO: « I have been involved in the Poppy Call for quite a long time and this is the first time I have come across something like this happening

« It’s difficult and frustrating to see the way things have gone this year, it’s something we can’t help ourselves but we have to make the most of it

« This year has been limited, but just as I am limited to how involved I can be this year, so I set up one morning’s tables and go back around 4pm and put everything away again

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« Four or five of my Legion volunteers have not been able to do what they usually do due to their age or medical condition

« It’s frustrating but in our local Asda the customers are awesome Year after year I just can’t get over it

« People were giving away five, ten and fifty pound notes They are so generous and we haven’t noticed less donations compared to other years »

Ronnie said the Royal British Legion generally implemented their Poppy Appeal in Huyton Asda in October, but that year began on November 1 until the second lockdown which went into effect on November 5

All volunteers followed government guidelines, wearing masks and visors, using hand sanitizer and observing social distancing

But for Ronnie, what he missed the most this year was the interaction with customers

Ronnie said: « A few weeks ago I was walking around the village of Huyton and this woman said to me ‘you are the poppy’ and asked ‘when are you back? « 

« I like meeting people and I missed it this year because I am not at the table I miss this communication

Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day public services are not held this year, but Ronnie said people across Merseyside will mark the day in their own way, including observing two minutes of silence in their footsteps

Ronnie said: « Poppy Call and Remembrance Day are really implanted in people’s minds People seem to be really excited to be doing something and they are going to make the most of it

« A lot of people seem to think that in order to be a member of the British Legion you have to be former service and you don’t, anyone can join If you are an elder that’s a bonus

« [I would like to say] thank you to the volunteers who contributed to the poppy call, not to mention the management and staff of Huyton Asda and of course the customers who have always been so generous »

Jane Abraham, organizer of Poppy Appeal in East Liverpool, said the year had been ‘difficult’ but the generosity of the Merseyside public has not diminished

Jane said: « Some veterans have not been able to cover their usual sites this year It has been a difficult year but we have done our best under the circumstances

« Schools were also in a very difficult situation, but the majority accepted them. About a fifth did not take the poppies

« They all have plausible reasons and they need to do what’s best for their students

« The people who make the collections, they go out there and sit in the stores and they look forward to every year and they love to do it. It gives them a purpose too

« People have done all they can and that’s all we can ask for Year after year people are very, very generous I don’t think that has changed any more or less than in previous years

« Next year is the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion, we were formed in 1921 Hope next year will be bigger and better too »

Explaining the changes to Remembrance Sunday this year, Jane said: « We usually have a walk from the Tuebrook club to the West Derby village memorial It has always been very popular with many people

« Obviously that can’t happen this year, but I think people will do their own thing instead

« I think that by doing a minute of silence at your door, people will feel like they are doing something and the public will want to remember »

For eight years Doreen and Jim Smith from West Derby have been part of the Poppy Appeal and although their total for this year has yet to be confirmed, they have raised around £ 50,000 for the call from the start

Doreen was in the Women’s Royal Army Corps from 1955 to 1964 and Jim joined the Army Cadet Force at age 14, finished as a Cadet Sergeant Major at age 17 and was selected to play for the battalion after joining the Liverpool Scottish TA Rue Fraser

Doreen, 85, said: « This is the eighth year that we have been doing this We are going to our local Tesco in Deysbrook Lane, West Derby and the manager and staff are very helpful

« Where they put us at Tesco this year was a safe space for people to come and buy poppies and a space for those who didn’t buy poppies to walk past There is no had tight pressure

« With the Poppy Call we only got our final total on Monday, but I would say it’s over £ 6,000 that we’ve invested this year in fundraising »

Jim, 83, said this year was different, because of the wearing of masks and gloves

The people in our West Derby area of ​​Tesco are very, very generous Some of them donated 320 tickets for a paper poppy and it touches you

« That’s what it represents. It represents a lot of guys who gave their lives

« They sacrificed their lives so that we could go on living – they deserve our honor. We must never forget what they did for us »

Jim said he would mostly miss this year’s commemorative gatherings, but that he was « 100% okay » with the idea of ​​a two minute door silence

He said: « We need the support of the young people who are arriving and we are trying to involve them

« I would like everyone to support us, support the Royal British Legion (RBL) and, with the pandemic at the minute, support retirees Make sure they have food and everything they need « 

To find out more about the Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal, click here

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World news – CA – Merseyside’s generosity to Poppy Appeal has not diminished


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