From pets with poppies to customised creations; here are some of the amazing ways people are supporting the Poppy Appeal across the country this year.
Pets with poppies
This year pet owners are treating their furry friends to a new range of Poppy products. Some pets have taken to social media to show off their new accessories. Here are some of our favourite pictures:
The poppy products are available to buy in Pets at Home stores across the country. Proceeds from the sales will help fund the services and support we provide to members of the Armed Forces community, serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.
Jessica Allen from Oxfordshire is hoping to raise £3,500 during this year’s poppy appeal by selling customised crystal poppies.
For the past six years Jessica has been ‘blinging’ poppies with sparkly crystals and selling her creations to the general public to raise money for The Legion.
Jessica Allen wearing one of her customised poppies.
To date she has raised an amazing £6,500 and is hoping to raise a further £3,500 this year by selling 700 poppies at £5 each, with 100% of proceeds being donated to The Legion.
“I have a small business where I customise clothing and other bits and pieces and when it came to poppy time of the year my sister asked if I could customise a poppy for her, then my mum said 'oh I’ll have one too', and it just took off from there really,” she says.
“All of the £5 goes to The Legion, it [charging more than the standard donation] is just a way of getting more money per poppy.”
Jessica's sparkle poppies
Jessica is provided with three boxes of poppies from The Legion and buys all of the materials needed to make her customised creations out of her own pocket, including the crystals, glue and brooch pins. She then sells the poppies and donates all the money she raises.
I enjoy making them, she says. "It’s just something different and I enjoy the fact that when someone has a sparkly poppy on it starts a conversation and people ask; where did you get your poppy from?
“I have a big poppy that I have sparked for my car, and even when I park people are like ‘oh I love that where did you get that from’. It’s always a talking point so it’s really nice.”
Jessica sells the poppies through a Facebook page and has already begun to receive orders for this year’s poppy appeal thanks to repeat custom and an article in which she featured in her local newspaper.
“From the Oxford Mail [article] I’ve had orders, as well as, through my Facebook page and from people just remembering from last year and the year before.”
This year she is also customising accessories for pets using the poppy accessories being sold in Pets at Home.
You can buy on of Jessica's jewelled poppies on her Facebook page.
An inspiring young award-winning fundraiser hopes to raise £1,000 during this year’s Poppy Appeal.
This half term Leigh-Taylor Arundale, 10, from Pudsey in West Yorkshire will spend her two-week holiday making decorative plaques to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War and to raise money for the Legion.
Leigh-Taylor has been raising funds for the Legion since she was five years old after being inspired by her late nan Pauline Arundale whose favourite flower was the poppy and told her about the meaning behind it.
Leigh-Taylor Arundale with her handmade plaque
“[I fundraise] to raise money for the soilders and the women who have helped our country, and my nan inspired me because she loved poppies and they were her favourite flowers,” Leigh-Taylor said.
In her time fundraising Leigh-Taylor has made and sold poppy cupcakes, badges and more recently keyrings, which she sold to her school friends and the local community raising £350, her highest sum yet.
This year she has made 100 centenary plaques commemorating 100 years since the end of the First World War, which she hopes to sell to local businesses and raise £1,000.
Leigh-Taylor explained that all the materials for the plaques have been donated by local businesses and a local man also kindly cut the wood for her. She has hand painted all elements including 200 poppies and has assembled the plaques ready to be sold. The plaques are designed to be displayed in a window, and are being sold with a suggested donation of £10 so that she can reach her £1,000 target.
Earlier this year Leigh-Taylor won a Diana Award (established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales), for her fundraising efforts and has also been nominated for Yorkshire Choice Award.
Leigh-Taylor with Musharaf Asghar at the Diana Awards
Leigh-Taylor hopes that other young people will be inspired to get involved and raise money for charity and help others. She said: "I hope other young people will try and do what I do and raise money for all different charities."
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