The Royal British Legion launched its 2023 Poppy Appeal last Thursday, with the public able to get hold of its newly-designed plastic-free poppy for the first time.
The Stonelake family from Crafthole — mother and Royal Navy veteran Donna, father and Army veteran Mark, 13-year-old Grace, 12-year-old Mollie, and eight-year-old Olivia — are some of the first people to wear the new poppy, which is completely recyclable.
This year’s plastic-free poppy is the first redesign of the iconic symbol of Remembrance in a generation and is the latest in a series of designs since the poppy was first used to raise funds in 1921. The plastic-free poppy is made from 100 per cent paper and easily recycled in household collections.
The launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal marks the start of the national period of Remembrance, when the nation wears the poppy and reflects on the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces.
Members of the public will be able to get their poppy — the original version or the new plastic-free version — from thousands of volunteers across the UK, or from major supermarkets.
All funds raised from the Poppy Appeal will be used by Royal British Legion to support serving personnel, veterans, and their families in a range of ways, from help with the cost of living, mental wellbeing and housing, to support with recovery after trauma or illness.
Royal Navy veteran Donna, and Army veteran husband Mark were supported by the Royal British Legion after Mark needed occupational therapy as a result of his vehicle being blown up by an IED while serving.
Mark said: “To me, the Poppy symbolises the brave men and women who have served this country, and at this time of year I believe it’s important to pay your respects and think about the physical and mental injuries caused by conflict.
“I’m especially excited about the new plastic-free poppy; I think it looks great and I’m sure a lot of people will like the new eco-friendly design.”
Director of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, Andy Taylor-Whyte said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to get a poppy this year and show their gratitude and support to those in the Armed Forces whose service and sacrifice should never be forgotten.”
To find out more or to donate to the Poppy Appeal visit rbl.org.uk