Duston Poppy Appeal: 90% fall in donations

The Duston Poppy Appeal has raised almost 10 times less than it normally does for the Armed Forces this November.

The Duston and District British Legion Branch, a small branch of the charity in Northamptonshire, raised only £3,500 this year. A tiny fraction of the normal amount of £42,000.

During November, Armistice Day would be a time to hold parades, remembrance services, and gatherings. However, this year these events weren’t allowed to be held.

Reverend Mandy Marriott led the Act of Remembrance at the war memorial – with an audience of just two people.

Three wreaths were laid for the three Armed Forces; the Royal Navy, the British Army, and the Royal Air Force.

Two people gather for the reading by Reverend Margret on Armistice Day

Darrin Stevens, a Poppy Appeal Organiser, for the Duston and District British Legion Branch said: “When the lockdown came, it took the wind out of us, but it didn’t stop people from paying their respects. People just want to remember.

“We’ve had a huge loss this year. Even though the footfall has been minuscule compared to our usual amount, we found that people still wanted their poppies, badges, pins, and medals”.

Poppy field in Duston

Money raised from the Poppy Appeal goes to supporting members of the Armed Forces.

The donations fund six areas, including: Mental health, financial support, and housing.

The Duston and District branch also help the veterans who have fought throughout the year.

In 2020, they delivered 80 Easter Eggs, over 100 Afternoon Teas for VE Day, and over 100 bottles of beer to the local veterans in and around Duston.

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