The 2019 Poppy Appeal by the Royal British Legion, Jersey branch has raised £208,000, their largest amount for almost 20 years.
“It’s an incredible total,” says first-time Poppy Appeal organiser, Alison Opfermann. “We want to thank the people of Jersey for their amazing generosity. At the beginning of the appeal the appalling weather had seriously affected our fundraising efforts. We were significantly down on last year’s figures and worried that we wouldn’t be able to fund important support services for veterans and their families.
“However, thanks to islanders really pulling together and showing their community spirit, in addition to the fantastic work of our fundraising team and some very generous donations, we have had another fantastic year. We couldn’t be any more proud of our island.”
The theme of this year’s fundraising campaign was “Remember Together”, which saw island businesses help fundraising efforts by raising awareness of the appeal. Many businesses produced poppy-based window displays, including law firm Le Gallais & Luce who adorned the outside of their Hill St offices with a poppy mural. A more unusual awareness effort was made by Granite Products who branded their new concrete mixer with a poppy display, which was then driven around the island before joining the start of the annual Remembrance Day ride.
The money raised will be used to provide services and support for local servicemen and women and their dependants who require medical, emotional or financial assistance, which can be accessed by contacting the local branch via their website or Facebook account.
Tim Daniels, Chairman of the local branch, said: “It is vitally important that we continue to raise funds that give veterans, current services personnel and their families the welfare support they desperately need. Over the past year, our welfare services have helped many islanders whether it’s by talking through issues they’re experiencing, providing financial assistance when they need it, or ensuring they have necessary medical care. It’s why we’re so very grateful to islanders and local businesses for their continued support.”
For the second year running, the Channel Islands Co-operative Society also agreed to be the sole collector of used poppies for the Recycled Poppy Scheme, which sees thousands of paper and plastic poppies sent to the RBL village in Kent for recycling by inmates of a nearby prison.
Ell Hopton, Community Manager for the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, said: “We were delighted to support the Royal British Legion’s poppy recycling scheme for the second year running, which not only helps eliminate single-use plastics but also saves vital funds for the RBL. It is fantastic that this year’s Poppy Appeal has raised more than £200,000 and, as a community retailer, we are more than happy to continue our support for such a good cause.
“Thanks to all those islanders who dropped their poppies back to our stores, which will now enable the RBL to recycle and repurpose those for next year’s appeal.”