The Chester Poppy Appeal 2018 was launched last week at Storyhouse, as The Royal British Legion marks the end of the First World War Centenary by saying ‘thank you’ to the generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world.
This year the Legion is leading a movement to recognise the contribution of the entire First World War generation – including those who served, the Commonwealth, women, children, pioneers and artists.
Joining the movement, and encouraging locals to say their own ‘thank you’, Lord-Lieutenant David Briggs officially launched the Chester Poppy Appeal this year with the help of 100 local school children, Caldy Valley Voices Choir and WW1 re-enactment groups.
Bus firm Stagecoach also provided a special Poppy Bus which was parked in the city.
Volunteers have already distributed poppy collection tins around the city and local cadet groups are all set to sell the poppies on the streets.
Lord Richard Grey of Codnor, president of the Knutsford branch of The Royal British Legion, commented: “Everyone has a connection to the First World War, and we all have a reason to say ‘thank you’ for the legacy that extraordinary generation left for us.”
Lord Grey continued: “The First World War left countless legacies that positively impact our lives today, from ground breaking social change and timeless works of art to pioneering innovations.
“As we come to the end of the First World War Centenary now is the time to come together in our communities and say ‘thank you.’
“This Poppy Appeal wear your poppy with pride to support the Armed Forces community past and present. Every donation received will make a real difference to the lives of Service men and women, veterans and their loved ones.”
In the last 12 months, The Royal British Legion has raised more than £50,000 in Chester.
The donations are used in many ways – including providing crisis grants, researching the long lasting impact of blast injuries on the body, lobbying the government on issues that affect our community, sport and art-based recovery programmes and advising on benefits and financial issues.
The Royal British Legion’s community fundraiser for West Cheshire, Ruth Jones said: “During the Poppy Appeal 2018 we are calling on the nation to say ‘thank you’ to the First World War generation, not just the British Armed Forces, but those who fought alongside them from today’s Commonwealth and the countless men, women and children who played their part of the home front.
“A great way to show your respect and gratitude for them is to volunteer for us. Being a volunteer for the Poppy Appeal is great because it can be done as a one-off.
“We are asking local people to give just a morning or an afternoon to help us sell the Poppies. We have a fantastic team here in Chester who work very hard but they need help.
“This Poppy Appeal we have set our highest ever [national] target at £50 million.
“The Legion’s work is entirely dependent on the public’s generous support – so please wear your poppy with pride and dig deep, knowing that you are supporting our Armed Forces community.”