A century after the Royal British Legion launched its first Poppy Appeal in November 1921, the much-loved military charity is celebrating the return of its dedicated, volunteer collectors in their local communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 meant that, for the first time in a century, volunteers were asked to stay at home and protect their health instead of standing in shopping centres, major supermarkets, high streets and transport hubs to encourage people to donate in person.
A hundred years on, there are a plethora of ways to donate to the Royal British Legion (RBL) – including the familiar sight of men and women standing in all weathers with a tray of poppies and a tin for collecting donations.
The RBL provides vital support for members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families. A donation of £10 could contribute towards an online course to help a veteran secure a job.
Since COVID-19 struck, the military charity has been helping people who are struggling financially, facing homelessness and struggling to feed their children.
People can donate towards the Poppy Appeal in a variety of different ways and any contribution will make a real difference to the lives of the Armed Forces community.
Without public support, the RBL would not be able to help those who have served their country.
How can you help the Royal British Legion?
This year, Poppy Appeal volunteers will be back in their local communities so keep your eyes peeled for a collector in your neighbourhood. To get your poppy and make a donation, look out for a volunteer at your local supermarket, high street or train station etc.
Donations can be made in a variety of contactless ways – payment terminal, QR code, online, text etc – but you can still contribute in the good old-fashioned way with coins and notes in a Poppy Appeal tin.
City Poppy Days 2021
City Poppy Days are the RBL's annual fundraising collection days supported by members of the Armed Forces, all on behalf of the Poppy Appeal.
Involving uniformed personnel from the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and supporters, every City Poppy Day has something for everyone.
London Poppy Day is the biggest street cash collection of its kind in Europe. The first of its kind was in 2006 with just 10 volunteers raising £500. This year there will be thousands of volunteers taking part and hoping to raise about £800,000.
City Poppy Day locations
- London City Poppy Day – Thursday 4 November
- Birmingham City Poppy Day – Tuesday 2 November
- Leeds City Poppy Day – Tuesday 2 November
- Manchester City Poppy Day – Wednesday 3 November
- Cardiff City Poppy Day – Tuesday 9 November
- Bristol City Poppy Day – Tuesday 9 November
How else can you support the Poppy Appeal?
Every donation and poppy counts, so it doesn't matter whether it is a one-off donation or a regular gift, no donation is too small to make a difference.
Donate £5, £10, £25, or your own amount through card payments or PayPal as a one-off donation, or support monthly, bi-monthly or annually through regular donations.
Poppies in the post
Visit the RBL website to request 20 poppies to be sent in the post for you to share and raise donations from your friends and family. Order before midnight on 31 October to ensure you receive your poppies in time for Remembrance Day.
Poppy Appeal fundraising pack
If you are a keen knitter, brilliant baker or active athlete the 11/11 fundraising challenge might suit you. You could bake 11 cupcakes, run up 11 flights of stairs or knit 11 poppies for 11 friends – the choice is yours.
Order your free fundraising pack here www.britishlegion.org.uk/11-11-challenge.
Poppy Runs and Virtual Poppy Runs
If you are feeling up for the challenge, Poppy Runs are being held at locations across the country – including virtual versions – during October and November. You can run, walk or jog 5k – whatever works best for you. www.britishlegion.org.uk/poppy-run
From poppy pins and whiskey to dog leads and colouring books – the Poppy shop has something for everyone.
Also, there is free UK and BFPO delivery on orders of £40 and over, plus 100% of profits are donated to the RBL.
Poppy shirt auction
Calling all football fans – you can raise money for the RBL by bidding on a piece of match-worn clothing.
Premier League and EFL players will wear special-edition shirts embroidered with a poppy in matches played in the lead-up to Remembrance weekend.
All the shirts will be signed by the players and put up for auction at www.matchwornshirt.co.uk/poppy.
Are there other ways to donate to the Poppy Appeal?
Log on to www.britishlegion.org.uk/poppy-appeal and click on 'Donate'.
Remember, you can call the RBL's friendly fundraising support team on 0845 845 1945 to make a donation by phone.
To donate £2, text POPPY2 to 70545*
To donate £5, text POPPY5 to 70545*
To donate £10, text POPPY10 to 70545*
*Texts cost the £2, £5, or £10 donation, plus one standard network rate message (typically 97% of the donation amount goes to the RBL).
Print off a donation form via the website and return it to: The Royal British Legion Supporter Care Team, 199 Borough High Street, London SE1 1AA.