Here's how this year's Poppy Appeal will work in Harborough

The annual appeal will look very different amid the Covid-19 pandemic
The annual Poppy Appeal will still be going ahead in Market Harborough over the next few weeks – but in a very different way amid the Covid-19 pandemic.The annual Poppy Appeal will still be going ahead in Market Harborough over the next few weeks – but in a very different way amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The annual Poppy Appeal will still be going ahead in Market Harborough over the next few weeks – but in a very different way amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The annual Poppy Appeal will still be going ahead in Market Harborough over the next few weeks – but in a very different way amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The emblematic campaign raises many millions of pounds for the Royal British Legion (RBL) every autumn – and is absolutely crucial.

But Stewart Harrison, 73, chairman of the RBL in Market Harborough, has told the Harborough Mail: “We will be staging an extremely slimmed-down Poppy Appeal this October and November.

“The appeal means everything to us veterans – and it’s right at the very heart of what we do in the Royal British Legion.

“But we have to be sensible – and we have to keep everyone safe.”

The former RAF and Army serviceman added: “Our first priority is to reduce the amount of face-to-face contact between our volunteers and the general public.

“And because of this there will, very sadly, be no poppy collectors on the streets of Market Harborough this year.

“There is to be no poppy launch in the town square, either, as we have done traditionally for time immemorial.

“Nor will any poppy boxes be delivered to any businesses or retail shops in the Harborough area.”

Stewart, of Naseby Square, Market Harborough, said the shattering coronavirus pandemic had hit their plans for six.

“We will not be placing our normal school boxes in our local schools, either, and all the schools who usually have boxes and collecting tins have been informed.

“Sainsburys, Waitrose and the Co-op have all agreed to collect for Poppy 2020.

“They will all use their own staff to carry this out for us and we are extremely grateful for them doing this,” said the local RBL chief.

“We have been given permission to stage a poppy stall in the town’s famous indoor Market - and we really appreciate that.

“Our sellers will be there in the Market from Saturday October 24 until Saturday November 7.

“We’ll be selling poppies and other poppy assets, including school pack items.

“It’s clearly to be so much tougher this year for the Royal British Legion, both locally and nationally, as it is proving for every other charity and organisation out there.

“And I’d urge everyone from the bottom of my heart to do all they can to buy a poppy from us this autumn.

“We need to generate every single penny we can to help sustain our vital work caring for and looking after service veterans and their families all over the UK.”

Stewart said that they are still drawing up detailed plans on how to stage Remembrance Day in Market Harborough on Sunday November 8.

“We are determined to remember and honour our heroes who fell and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in both world wars as well as many other conflicts.

“But we are having to prepare a number of alternatives as the Covid-19 situation literally changes day to day,” he said.

“So we will publicise and highlight exactly what we are doing as soon as we know for sure.

“But the people of Market Harborough can be assured of this – we will do all we can to salute and pay tribute to our glorious dead what ever the circumstances.”