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Capital buzzing as London Poppy Day supporters aim for £1m

8 November 2013

Fiona and Anton from Strictly Come Dancing with RAF collectorsThousands of uniformed personnel, veterans and their supporters hit the capital yesterday for the Legion's London Poppy Day in the hope of beating last year's staggering total of £815,000.

Some of London's most famous faces, including TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Barbara Windsor and stars from Strictly Come Dancing, supported the largest and most ambitious street-collecting event of its kind in a bid to raise more than £1 million in a day.

Now in its eighth year, London Poppy Day saw Royal Navy, Army and RAF collectors hit 80 tube and train stations across the London transport network, at Heathrow Terminals 1, 3 and 5 and at hubs including Leicester Square and Covent Garden.

Staff and volunteers counted endlessly throughout the day in several counting offices across London.

TRH at Kensington High Street Tube stationThe London Poppy Day Routemaster bus, kindly donated for the day by Transport for London Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE toured the capital, carrying beneficiaries, supporters and celebrities to raise awareness and visit collectors.

The bus made a couple of special stops including a visit to Kensington Palace where TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met passengers. The Royals joined the bus to travel to Kensingtion High Street tube station where they spoke to Poppy Collectors.

London Poppy Day Bus at No.10Next stop on the route was outside London's most famous door, No.10 Downing Street, to visit the Prime Minister David Cameron. It then continued on to Victoria, London Bridge and Liverpool Street stations with a stop at Leadenhall Market.

Other fundraising efforts across the capital included:

  • A daring descent by three Royal Marines who simultaneously abseiled down Regent's Place, near Warren Street
  • The sight of HMS Tyne, a River-class patrol ship, docked in Canary Wharf
  • Activities throughout the day in Covent Garden piazza including a life size Spitfire with its wartime crew, a stage with musical entertainment and Strictly Come Dancing stars collecting amongst the crowd
  • Twenty military bands, who performed across the capital, including the Band of the Royal Logistic Corps, The Central Band of the RAF and the Royal Marines Corp of Drums
  • The Poppy Girls sang the Official Poppy Appeal single 'The Call (No need to say Goodbye)' for the Prime Minister and on stage in Covent Garden. In Covent Garden, Aliona and Robin from Strictly Come Dancing performed to their singing.
  • Scottish pipers and dancers performing in Leicester Square
  • Our Poppy Shop set up shop in a kitted out trailor in West Piazza, Covent Garden selling the latest merchandise and Poppy bling available.

Aliona and Robin dancing to The Poppy GirlsThe success of London Poppy Day is also thanks to corporate collections where uniformed personnel were given permission to 'walk the floors' in offices, on trading floors and across work spaces, as well as a number of generous corporate matching schemes. This year, over 100 companies signed up to allow corporate collections in their offices.

London Poppy Day facts:

  • Almost 2,000 uniformed personnel from the Armed Forces participated
  • 2.2 million poppies, 165,000 London Poppy Day wristbands, 8,000 Buckley brooches, 2500 poppy cufflinks and 2800 knitted poppies available for a donation
  • More than 80 tube and train stations, and over 100 offices as collection locations
  • 12 Thames Clippers decorated with poppies and cleared for collection
  • HMS TYNE in Canary Wharf supported London Poppy Day
  • Key voluntary support from TfL, Network Rail, Barclaycard and G4S
  • 200 Barclaycard volunteers on hand to take contactless card donations
  • A fleet of 10 buses, two trains, a tram, and a bus shelter all wrapped in poppies alongside a poppy on the front of all underground and overground trains.
  • 31 of 36 daily busking slots on Transport for London filled by buskers supporting London Poppy Day
  • 13 of the Capital’s Train Operating Companies offered free travel in and out of London to uniformed personnel
  • Two mobile Poppy Shops retailed poppy products
  • More than 20 musical bands including a unique all supported by 60+ pipers band
  • Collections at Heathrow Terminal 1, 3 and 5 as well as collections in BA and BAA offices

Target reached - we made our £1 million in one day. Thank you everyone!

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