Poppy Appeal collectors

Meet our Poppy Appeal collectors

Our collectors have been at the heart of the Poppy Appeal for 100 years. 

This year they are back in local communities and will be raising vital funds at shopping centres, markets and city centres across the country.

As we mark our centenary we are celebrating their contribution. 

From all regions, walks of life and corners of the UK, meet some of those helping to raise vital funds for the Poppy Appeal.

 

Andy Owen collecting outside his local supermarket
I enjoy speaking to the people who come and donate, so it’ll be great to be back out there. Andy Owens

Army veteran and Poppy Appeal collector for 30 years

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Vera Parnaby collecting at her local supermarket

'Mrs Poppy'

Vera Parnaby, 82, has been a committed collector in County Durham for more than seven decades.

Known locally as ‘Mrs Poppy’, she has raised well in excess of £1m for the Poppy Appeal during 75 years of dedication to the Armed Forces community.

In 2020 Vera’s volunteering was recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson when she was presented with a Points of Light award.

Maisie Mead with collection bucket outside her school

"I just want people to remember and make sure we all take a moment"

10-year-old Maisie Mead is a Poppy Appeal collector in Plymouth and has been involved in the Poppy Appeal since she was four. She began supporting RBL after her dad was injured and medically discharged, and collects because she wants to help other soldiers like her dad, who joined the Armed Forces very young.
Mirza Shahzad collecting donations

Mirza Shahzad

Mirza is the Regional Coordinator of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) for the South-West of the UK and has been supporting the Poppy Appeal since he moved to the UK from Pakistan in 2012.  

"It gives us a great feeling that we’re doing something very positive by standing with our Armed Forces." 

AMYA is the youth section of the Muslim Elders Group - Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA). The AMA are a set of Islam who believe in serving humanity, and that’s why the various groups are so passionate about supporting charities like RBL. 

Billy Wilde collecting donations in Bristol
I’ve got a huge passion for supporting our veterans and our Armed Forces. Billy Wilde

Poppy Appeal organiser in Bristol who has been volunteering since the age of 4

Every poppy counts

In our centenary year your support is as vital as ever as the impact of Covid-19 continues to leave some people we support in urgent need of our help.

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Jill Gladwell collecting outside her local shop

Jill Gladwell

Jill is celebrating an incredible 80 years of collecting for the Poppy Appeal this year, having started at the age of 14 during the height of the Second World War. Her mother was a Poppy Appeal organiser, and now five generations of Jill’s family are involved, with the youngest volunteer being 10 years old.
Anne-Marie Cobley with collection bucket

Anne-Marie Cobley

Anne-Marie is the third generation in her family to be involved with the Poppy Appeal, beginning with her grandfather who began supporting the appeal in the 1950s. 

"The Poppy Appeal is something I’ve grown up with from my parents’ and grandparents’ influence, and I love carrying on their tradition of selling poppies to raise vital funds."

As Poppy Appeal organiser for her local area in Newport, South Wales, Anne-Marie is looking forward to being able to collect in person again this year. 

Ashley Martin collecting on the London Underground
It’s a fantastic feeling to be part of continuing the legacy of the poppy. Ashley Martin

Paramedic in the Royal Army Medical Corps and Poppy Appeal collector since 2016

Dave Kelsey with poppies on Brighton seafront

David Kelsey

David is Mayor of Bournemouth and has been collecting for the Poppy Appeal since 2007.  

“It’s a chance to meet so many veterans, it’s amazing how many of them stop and come up and talk to you as well as their families.“ 

Having served in the Royal Engineers Corps he is passionate about supporting fellow veterans in his community and is looking forward to collecting in-person in his local spots, Bournemouth Centre and ASDA supermarket.    

Lesleyanne Gardner with fellow collectors

"RBL helped me when I needed it, I see this as a way of paying it forward."

Army veteran Lesleyanne Gardner has been collecting donations in South Hylton, Sunderland for 10 years. After a training accident left her seriously injured and needing support, RBL stepped in and provided Lesleyanne with a mobility scooter.

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