October 26th 2023

Midlands poppy appeal launched at Foresters’ House

The poppy display outside of Foresters' House.

HMS Sherwood welcomed the Royal British Legion to Foresters’ House, Chilwell, for the Midlands launch of the poppy appeal.

New for 2023 is a fresh poppy design, the first such change since 1987, in a drive to be more eco-friendly.

Sales of the new poppies are expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds in Nottinghamshire alone for the Royal British Legion, the country’s largest Armed Forces charity.

Reservists were joined by HM Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire Dame Elizabeth Fradd; Councillor John Ogle, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council; Air Commodore Veronica Pickering DL, the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire; and television crews at the ceremony.

Present was local D-Day veteran Ted Rutland, 100, who bought the first poppy in the East Midlands for 2023 from young collector Thea Price, 8. Mansfield veteran and Invictus Games medallist Gareth Fuller also joined the ceremony.

Commander Kathryn Jacques, Commanding Officer of HMS Sherwood, said: “It is a great privilege to be able to launch the RBL poppy appeal for the whole region here. To also be able to host some of the veterans who have benefited from RBL and to have a D-Day veteran is absolutely fantastic.

“It’s good to host the appeal here at a Reserve unit as the RBL benefits all members of the Armed Forces – Regulars and Reserves, past and present, and their families as well.”

Sharon Clay, Community Fundraiser for the Royal British Legion, said it was the first time the regional poppy appeal launch has come to Nottinghamshire in eight years.

She added: “What better place to host our regional appeal than HMS Sherwood. They are part of our Armed Forces community and the location makes a spectacular backdrop.

“We’ve had Sea Cadets here, we’ve had our Armed Forces, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue, the Girl Guides. We’ve had representatives of standards from the Royal British Legion from Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire too. It has been a real regional come-together, which has been fantastic.

“The Royal British Legion poppy appeal is a phenomenal cause. The best way people can help our Armed Forces is to go out and purchase a poppy to show them the community care.”

On display at the front of Foresters’ House was a cascade of poppies commemorating those from Nottinghamshire who have made the ultimate sacrifice.