THE 2020 Poppy Appeal launches today in Bradford, and this year The Royal British Legion is asking everyone to back the appeal in a new way.

The Legion’s area manager for Yorkshire, Debbie Harding, said: “Like so many things this year, the appeal has to adapt to the threat of Covid-19 and we are asking the public to support us like never before, because every poppy counts. While the pandemic has impacted the ways in which we deliver the Poppy Appeal in Bradford, our staff, volunteers, partners and suppliers have been working to ensure the 2020 Poppy Appeal is able to go ahead and we can all take part in Remembrance activity.

“People may have to do something different to support the Poppy Appeal this year, including taking part in remote activity like ordering poppies through the post for your neighbours and local community, printing a poppy and displaying it in your window, or undertaking a virtual Poppy Run, but every poppy counts so we are asking people to please support in any way you can.”

Tina Pringle, the Legion's community fundraiser for Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, said: "The majority of our volunteers are of a certain age, so this year we're only asking them to help if they want to. Their health is the priority.

"There will be no manned stalls in the Bradford area this year, but there will be still poppy boxes in the shops and major supermarkets, where people will also have the option to buy a poppy at the till."

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Doreen Lee, will mark the start of the Poppy Appeal in the Bradford district by giving a recorded video message today.

She said: "As we approach Remembrance tide, I would normally have the pleasant duty of receiving the first poppy in the district from the president and members of the Bradford Central Branch of the Royal British Legion.

"This year is, of course, different. The Covid-19 pandemic means that we cannot gather as we normally would and, of course, it also affects the Poppy Appeal. Nationally, their volunteers normally distribute over 40 million poppies every year to help the Armed Forces community, but this year many are unable to help because of the Covid-19 threat.

"The Royal British Legion’s theme this year is “Every Poppy Counts” and, in these unprecedented times, every poppy certainly does count - perhaps now, more than ever."

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