At this time of year we normally see current and former members of the Armed Forces outside stations and shops and on street corners asking for us to donate to the Royal British Legion Poppy’s Appeal.
Every year I used to donate and collect my poppy from my father when I saw him for his birthday in late October. A former officer in the British Army, he used to rattle his bucket in the villages of Hampshire until he passed away seven years ago, and since then I’ve sourced one locally.
But this year it’s been different. For the first time I haven’t found a poppy and have instead donated online. Like all charities, the Royal British Legion has had to adapt quickly to this new environment and we wish them all the best.
In fact, instead of the usual Remembrance Day concert in Bath Abbey, this year, the Choir (featuring our very own Sian Jones) will perform in a pre-recorded concert that will be made available from 7.30pm on Friday 6 November.
Indeed, there’s evidence to suggest that charitable giving during the CV-19 pandemic exceeded pre-pandemic figures, with the total number of transactions increasing by 15% compared to the same period last year. Even though the average donation amount dropped, the total given by the UK public increased by 2%. But we must all continue to support our chosen charities.
So in a year that has seen disrupted commemorations to VE Day and VJ Day anniversaries, it’s important that we support our Armed Forces community. Every poppy makes a difference.