UK’s memorial poppy drive faces new battle

Britain’s annual poppy appeal is a tradition – where millions of pounds are usually raised through the sale of commemorative poppy flowers and memorabilia to remember the war dead -- and help the families of armed forces veterans.

But this year it’s facing it’s own battle.

Like many other charities across the world its facing fundraising struggles in recent months – a direct result of the pandemic, and the strictest lockdown to hit the UK in peacetime history.

It says it’s far behind its usual collection of about 50 million pounds – roughly $66 million.

Alex Owen is with the Royal British Legion:

“Normally this time of year we'd have 40,000 amazing volunteers across the streets of our country collecting for us but clearly with the new lockdown in England and Wales that is not possible anymore. For the first time in 100 years we now have to pull face to face collections so we are relying entirely on digital online donations now so we are asking the nation to go online on the RBL website, download the poppy and display on their window and show the support for the armed forces community."

The traditional Remembrance Sunday march, held annually past the Cenotaph memorial in London also did not take place over the weekend, though Queen Elizabeth did attend a scaled back ceremony and watched on from a balcony.