Why supporting the Poppy Appeal is more crucial than ever before
As we prepare to mark a very different Remembrance Sunday, it’s never been as important to support this year’s Poppy Appeal. Like so many sectors, Covid-19 has seen the Legion face huge challenges this year, especially as many of our volunteers are unable to carry out face to face collections and some people unable to leave their homes as they normally would to buy a poppy
Whilst our donations might be impacted this year, the work we do at The Royal British Legion is needed more than ever. We’re supporting people from all generations facing new hardships as a result of the pandemic, such as social isolation, financial difficulties and unemployment, losing loved ones or facing the threat of homelessness. That’s why, we’re doing all we can to help people to get involved this year albeit in a different way – and our partnership with M&S makes it even easier for anyone to support.
From the Poppy Collection®, M&S donates 100% of the profits to the Legion. The range features nearly 15 beautiful products including brooches, pins, cufflinks and socks, and M&S customers can easily order them online for home delivery or free next day Click & Collect at their nearest store.
Aside from purchasing products, there’s another simple way M&S customers can support our charity. Through M&S’s Sparks programme, customers can select The Royal British Legion as their chosen charity and M&S will continue donating to us every time they shop in-store, online or through the app throughout the year. Nearly 564,000 customers have selected the Legion as their Sparks charity to date – and every donation makes a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces community.
Over the last 10 years, M&S has raised more than £8.6m for the Legion. We’re incredibly grateful to M&S, along with its customers and colleagues, and the money raised has enabled us to provide vital support to the Armed Forces community. Since 2017, M&S donations have been directed to our Admiral Nurse service, which provides help and support to people living with dementia and their carers.
Let’s hear from Paula Smith, the Legions Admiral Nurse National Lead: “
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic our service has been even more essential, with many carers feeling more isolated and in need of support. We’ve had to drastically change the way we support people and are now are providing support remotely via the phone. This has enabled us to support more families who are beneficiaries of RBL wherever they live across the UK and overseas. Over the past three years M&S has donated millions of pounds to our service, without which we wouldn’t be able to carry out our vital work and support thousands of families”.
Teresa Goodwin has not only benefited from the Admiral Nurse service, but is also a Poppy Appeal Volunteer. She said: “
The support I have received from my Admiral Nurse Helen has been fabulous. I don’t know how I would have coped without her. The day we got the diagnosis for my Father, I was just a mess. After the initial consultation I felt so lost but as soon as Helen rang, she understood. I have felt incredibly supported.”
We’ve made sure there are more ways to support the Appeal this year – whether it’s purchasing products from the M&S Poppy Collection® or selecting the Legion as your Sparks charity – and more widely there’s lots of ideas on our website to help people support remotely, such as taking part in our virtual Poppy Run or downloading a poppy to display in your windows.
This year has shown that every individual action we take can go a long way to make a big difference. Now more than ever, we’re calling on M&S’s customers and colleagues to get involved in the Poppy Appeal so that together, we can help support those in our Armed Forces community who need it most.