Jersey’s Royal British Legion is officially launching its 2020 Poppy Appeal at the annual Field of Remembrance ceremony, which takes place on Friday 23rd October at 1pm. Following the ceremony, His Excellency and Lady Dalton will meet The Royal British Legion volunteers at the pop-up Poppy Shop to hear about the challenges of organising the Poppy Appeal in a year that has been difficult for all.
This year, in a change to convention, the Field of Remembrance ceremony will be held at the Parish of St Helier Great War memorial where there is more open space for people to maintain physical distance. A five metre, hollow white cross will be installed at the western side of the Parish memorial and will point towards the Don Statue.
The ceremony will be attended by Jersey’s Lieutenant-Governor His Excellency Sir Stephen Dalton, patron of the Royal British Legion Jersey, the Bailiff, the Chief Minister and children from Helvetia School.
Alison Opfermann, Poppy Appeal organiser, said how the pandemic has affected this year’s appeal: “Things look a little different this year for the Poppy Appeal, as many of our usual fundraising activities can’t take place because of Coronavirus restrictions. The Chelsea Pensioners who usually join us won’t be flying over this year, and we can’t host our usual coffee mornings. We have chosen a prominent location on the high street for the pop-up shop and we hope this will attract support from the public. We are delighted that His Excellency and Lady Dalton will be visiting our volunteers at the shop.”
A range of Poppy Appeal merchandise will be available to buy at the shop, including Liberation poppy pins, poppy themed masks, brooches and poppy notelets designed by a local artist and even some Jersey Wonders. A video featuring veterans will be played in the shop window.
Tim Daniels, Chairman of The Royal British Legion, Jersey said: “The Legion is not just about those who fought in the two World Wars of the last century, but also about those involved in the many conflicts since 1945 and those still fighting for the freedom we enjoy today. Funds raised from the annual Poppy Appeal directly help Veterans and their families with mental, physical and financial issues which they may be struggling with and they still need our help, pandemic or not.”