Royal British Legion say thank you

by Peter Trebilcock

On remembrance Sunday, we think of those men and women who gave their lives to help preserve our freedoms. Many people choose to wear a poppy on clothing leading up to Remembrance Day/Armistice Day as a show of support for the Armed Forces community. The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower worn to commemorate those who died for their country. Poppy wreaths are often laid at war memorials.

The poppy is a well-known and well-established symbol that carries a wealth of history and meaning. Wearing a poppy is still a very personal choice, reflecting individual experiences and personal memories.

Veteran associations exchange poppies for charitable donations used to give financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the armed forces.

In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Poppies are sold by The Royal British Legion (RBL). This charity provides financial, social, political, and emotional support to those who have served or are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their dependents.

At this time of year, many members of the Church and their friends assisted with the activities associated with poppy collections.

Stuart Lang, a Chuch member and the Head of Fundraising for Poppy Scotland, reports many members in Scotland have volunteered with Poppy Scotland and the British Legion for a very long time, but we have had an official connection for eight years now. We have loads of activity in Scotland, with every Ward/Branch in Scotland taking part in the wreath-laying at War Memorials annually.

Members across other parts of the UK have also done so much every year, from helping organise the fund-raising activities in their town or County to making poppies, distributing them, selling them, counting the monies, and raising funds through other ways.

Lynne West

Not to be deterred by Covid 19, In the height of the pandemic in 2020, members participated in socially distanced garden parties and other responsible activities, including sponsored walks.

Members of the Manchester Stake collected RBL tins from Congleton, Hazel Grove, Altrincham and Knutsford. Brother and Sister West drove 300 tins over to the Army Barracks in Chester in a Covid free manner!

The Fletcher Family of the Rochdale Ward, Ashton Stake, completed a 12K walk and Bike Ride on behalf of the RBL and raised £900.00 for the Poppy appeal. The purpose was to add support for the RBL, knowing that many of those who customarily volunteered could not do so because of Covid 19, and the physical presence had been significantly limited in places such as supermarkets.

Kevin said, “It was our way of recognising, teaching ‘the why ‘and remembering the great sacrifice of so many, supporting a worthy cause and engaging our children and grandchildren in serving others. We set off in stages with safe distancing in mind, there were no complaints, and everyone commented on how much they enjoyed the experience. Each received a medal after the trek as a reminder of the day.

The contribution of members of the Church is significant to the Royal British Legion. They wrote a letter to express their appreciation.

Jenny Sheriff, the Head of Regional Fundraising and Poppy Appeal, wrote to Peter Trebilcock, the UK National Director of Communication, expressing appreciation for the work of church volunteers throughout the past year.

The letter includes:

“I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you and your volunteers for your support. We very much appreciate you providing volunteers across the country in such unprecedented times. We have many examples where your colleagues supported us with transporting stock and cash, helped with cash counting at our regional hubs, organising deliveries and collections.

In 2020 requests for crisis support more than doubled. Without support like that given by you and the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we cannot provide the life changing care that our Armed Forces needs and deserves.”

We are grateful for local Priesthood leaders, Relief Societies, Young Adults, Young Men and Young Women groups and Priesthood Quorums, families, and individuals young and old, including those who don’t regularly attend church meetings, who have done such tremendous work not only in 2020 but over the many years the church has supported the Royal British Legion. It is a manifestation of your faith, gratitude, service and love.