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Our relationship with M&S is extremely important to the Legion. As well as raising vital funds, the partnership also helps us to engage with the general public in ways we haven’t been able to do before. With the support of M&S, the Legion is raising its profile year round, showing that we provide vital services to our beneficiaries 365 days of the year, not just in November.

M&S has been a long-term supporter of The Royal British Legion through the Poppy Appeal, by allowing our volunteer collectors in store and on forecourts – raising around £1 million every year. For the last couple of years they have also sold our popular Poppy brooch, and a range of poppy jewellery, which has raised an additional £540,000 so far.

M&S's support extends beyond this and we are incredibly grateful for the gifts in kind such as lunch vouchers for our uniformed collectors during the Poppy Appeal and the start up packs for our brand new high street Pop In centres. The aim of these centres is to make the Legion more visible, more relevant and more accessible to those members of the Armed Forces Community who may require help, advice and support at any stage of their lives.

Staff support is a key factor with many corporate partnerships and our relationship with M&S is no exception. Not only do we have staff volunteering their time during the Poppy Appeal, this year there are a team of intrepid M&S cyclists taking part in our popular Pedal to Paris ride in September hoping to raise an additional £10,000 for the Legion. We are very excited about this and hope this will encourage more members of staff to get involved.

This year marks 100 years since Britain officially entered the First World War and with the help of M&S we will be commemorating this important milestone. In 1914, Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary at the time spoke the words “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”

These words are the basis of our LIGHTS OUT campaign - a national moment of reflection on 4th August where we're encouraging everyone in the UK to turn off their lights between 10pm and 11pm – leaving just one single light or candle burning. Limited edition Centenary candles go on sale today in M&S stores and online to help raise valuable funds for our current Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

We’re looking forward to this mass commemorative event, with our branches and supporters all looking to take part – we really hope it gets the coverage and support it deserves. Please do join us on 4th August, either at home or your local war memorial, and Remember all of those who fought 100 years ago.

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