Poppy Appeal 2021 launches in South Tyneside as people asked to wear poppies with pride during Royal British Legion centenary year

People in South Tyneside are being urged to wear their poppies with pride as the Royal British Legion marks its centenary year.

It comes after the covid pandemic hampered the 2020 appeal and Remembrance Commemorations, with the Legion forced to withdraw volunteers from streets and face-to-face fundraising opportunities for the first time in its history.

The charity is now celebrating the return of poppy collectors to local communities as it marks its 100th year.

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Peter Boyack, president of the South Shields British Legion Club, said: “This year is a special year for the Royal British Legion as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The Mayor of South Tyneside Cllr Pat Hay receives the first poppy from the Royal British Legion South Shields Branch President Peter Boyack, with Mayoress Mrs Jean Copp, Branch Chairman Anthony Paterson, and Branch Secretary George Coser, at South Shields Town Hall.

"Our volunteers are also able to return to face-to-face fundraising.

“The people of South Tyneside have always been very generous and supportive of the Poppy Appeal and for that we are extremely grateful. As the impact of the pandemic continues to leave some members of the armed forces community in need of support, help from the Poppy Appeal is as important as ever.

"Contributions from the Poppy Appeal make a real difference to those facing hardships, injuries or bereavement.

“We hope that once again local communities will support us to ensure the continuity of vital services and support for our armed services families.”

Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay, launched the Poppy Appeal 2021 in the borough, buying the first poppy from the South Shields branch of the Royal British Legion.

She said: “It was a real honour to launch the local poppy appeal and help to pay tribute to the countless men and women who sacrificed so much to serve their country. Donations from the Poppy Appeal go a long way to providing much needed support for serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces community and their families.

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“The coronavirus pandemic led to increased demands on the Royal British Legion as it supported those dealing with new hardships, from losing loved ones and isolation to financial difficulties and unemployment. The work of the Legion is more vital than ever.

“The Mayoress and I will be wearing our poppies with pride. We hope that the people of South Tyneside will join us in supporting this year’s Poppy Appeal. Every poppy counts.”

The Royal British Legion provides welfare and companionship to servicemen and women, veterans and their families, from expert guidance and advice to recovery and rehabilitation.

It also acts as a voice for the Armed Forces Community, ensuring that servicemen and women are honoured and respected.

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Residents and visitors to South Tyneside can buy their poppies from South Shields Town Hall and Jarrow Town Hall alongside shops and supermarkets across the Borough.

The public can also support the cause by donating by text or online at www.britishlegion.org.uk and receive a link to a printable poppy for displaying in windows.

Donate £2 by texting POPPY2 to 70545 | Donate £5 by texting POPPY5 to 70545 | Donate £10 by texting POPPY10 to 70545. Poppy-based products such as pins and badges are also available to buy at www.poppyshop.org.uk/

South Tyneside Council will be paying its respects on Remembrance Day and Armistice Day with a number of services taking place in towns and villages across the Borough.

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