Fundraisers Deliver Poppy to Prime Minister
Two valued supporters of The Royal British Legion took their collecting tins to Downing Street to offer Prime Minister Theresa May a chance to donate for her poppy.
Fundraisers Paul Wheeler and George Taylor met with Theresa May outside 10 Downing Street to share their experiences of fundraising for the charity with her.
It comes as The Royal British Legion is encouraging people to rethink what Remembrance means.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It is inspiring to hear the stories of those who work so hard to raise money and awareness for the Royal British Legion. They set an example that we can all follow in a small and simple way by buying a poppy and supporting our Armed Forces community both serving and retired.
“In July this year I was honoured to attend the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele alongside the descendants of those who had fought there. It is vital that we remember the wars of the last century and the huge sacrifices made by so many in defence of our freedom.
"But we should also look to the more recent past and reflect on the contribution made by all generations of the Armed Forces and their families.
“It is also important that we use this time of the year to think about those personnel who are currently deployed overseas and away from their loved ones. Our Armed Forces sacrifice so much to keep us safe, and that’s why I will be wearing my poppy with pride.”
"Our Armed Forces sacrifice so much to keep us safe, and that’s why I will be wearing my poppy with pride."Theresa May
Paul, who earlier this year ran 3,000 miles solo and unsupported across America in aid of the Legion, said he was “honoured” to have been asked to attend today’s event and meet the Prime Minister.
Paul Wheeler during his run across America
The former soldier from The Isle of Wight said: “As a former Serviceman I know full well how important the Poppy Appeal is, and the breadth of support it gives our serving personnel, veterans, and their families.
“It was a no-brainer for me to support The Royal British Legion in my challenge, and I feel honoured to have been asked to present the Prime Minister with her poppy.”
Seventeen-year-old George took a break from his own Poppy Appeal fundraising activities in Kent to attend Downing Street.
“I feel very proud to be a part of today’s event and it will live long in my memory,” said the Deputy Poppy Appeal Organiser (PAO) for Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford, Kent.
“I’ve supported the Poppy Appeal, and The Royal British Legion, for about eight years now and I feel as determined to honour the fallen as I did when I first began.”
George Taylor (left) with his family
“The work of the Legion is as relevant and vital today as it was in the aftermath of the First World War"Claire Rowcliffe, Director of Fundraising
This year the Legion’s national target is £47million which will be used to continue its vital work delivering practical, lifelong care and support to the Armed Forces community.
The Royal British Legion’s Director of Fundraising Claire Rowcliffe, said: “The Poppy Appeal 2017 is encouraging the public to recognise that your poppy supports the Armed Forces community past and present, and is a symbol of both Remembrance and hope.
“The work of the Legion is as relevant and vital today as it was in the aftermath of the First World War when the charity was founded. The donation for your poppy will help the Legion support today’s Armed Forces community through hardships, injury and bereavements.